The photo of the donald trump mugshot.

Donald Trump's Mugshot

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Updated Oct 24, 2023 at 04:23PM EDT by Adam.

Added Aug 22, 2023 at 02:35PM EDT by Adam.

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Related Explainer: Why Does Donald Trump Have A Mugshot And Why Are People Making Memes Of His Scowl?

About

Donald Trump's Mugshot is the booking photo of former President Donald Trump, released by the Fulton County Sheriff's Office in late August 2023 after he was arrested in Georgia on charges of allegedly conspiring to overturn the 2020 United States Presidential Election results in the state. Many of his critics anticipated the photograph as a vindication of their belief that Trump has committed crimes and others anticipated it being an extremely important historical photo, which could lead to countless memes. Upon its release, the photo garnered significant press coverage and discourse online, as well as becoming a prevalent reaction image and exploitable for various memes across social media.

Origin

On August 24th, 2023, the Fulton County Sheriff's Office released Donald Trump's official mugshot after he briefly appeared to get booked at the jail.[12] It is notably the first mugshot of a United States President ever taken.


SHERIFF FULTON COUNTY SHERIFF OFFICE F'S PATRICK LABAT

Around 8 p.m. EST on August 24th, the mugshot appeared to be leaked online roughly 30 minutes prior to news outlets confirming its authenticity and using the official one watermarked with the Fulton County Sheriff's Office logo. One early tweet by Twitter user @ettingermentum[13] included the un-watermarked photo and a reference to the "Chat Is This Real?" meme, which gained over 100 retweets and 3,100 likes in one hour (shown below).


ettingermentum @ettingermentum is this real chat 8:06 PM. Aug 24, 2023

Precursors

Jokes about an eventual Donald Trump mugshot were a staple of his presidency for many years prior to the release of his August 2023 photo. For example, on August 22nd, 2020, Twitter user @Mark_Dolk[1] published art imagining Trump's mugshot on postage stamps, gaining over 40 retweets and 60 likes in three years (shown below).


NEVERMORE TRUMP SAVE THE NOV 03 STOFFICE NEVERMORE TRUMP 45 Mark Dolk

Speculation about an actual mugshot began in earnest in anticipation of Donald Trump's March 2023 indictment in the Stormy Daniels Hush Money case. On March 17th, 2023, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen said Trump would "absolutely" have his mugshot taken for the indictment.[2] However, while Trump did have his fingerprints taken as part of that case's proceedings, he did not have a mugshot taken.[3]

Several fake, AI-generated mugshots spread online in the wake of the arrest (example shown below), but no genuine mugshot was taken or published.


0011 10M Hes 0011 1014 Mai Ha Ma 2011 25M 11.M 17.M WAM PHUO 17.M

Over the following months of 2023, speculation and anticipation of a Trump mugshot continued to run rampant as the former President was indicted in both the alleged Mishandling of Classified Documents case and the Capitol Insurrection case, but neither of those cases resulted in a mugshot. This is because in the federal court system, mugshots do not necessarily need to be taken, and if they are, they are not released publicly.[4]

2023 Georgia Indictment

Speculation of a looming mugshot intensified in the runup to the August 14th, 2023, indictment of Donald Trump in Georgia for his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in the state.

On August 2nd, 2023, local Georgia county Sheriff Pat Labat told the media that they would be taking Trump's mugshot and releasing it if he was indicted,[5] saying, "Unless somebody tells me differently, we are following our normal practices, and so it doesn't matter your status, we'll have a mugshot ready for you."

On August 20th, Guardian reporter Hugo Lowell tweeted that Trump's defense team was negotiating the terms of Trump's surrender to state officials. He reported that Trump's lawyers did not want a mugshot taken or released to the public.[6]


Hugo Lowell @hugolowell New: Trump's lawyers on the Georgia case are meeting with the Fulton County DA Fani Willis tomorrow to finalize the former president's surrender Thursday or Friday week, per ppl familiar. 2:01 PM. Aug 20, 2023 945 Retweets 48 Quotes 4,270 Likes 17 Bookmarks 22 Tweet your reply! 245 (→ 824 Reply Hugo Lowell @hugolowell Aug 20 Among other things under negotiation: whether Trump will have his mug shot taken and whether it gets released if he's photographed (Trump legal want no mug shot), as well as which day the surrender will happen. 1 204 : ↑

Pre-Mugshot Anticipation

In both the media and on social media, several commenters voiced that a Donald Trump mugshot would be a historically important image. On August 21st, 2023, the Boston Globe[7] published a piece about the public fervor on both political sides for a mugshot.

The South China Post[8] said it would instantly enter the pantheon of famous celebrity mugshots, like those of Tiger Woods and O.J. Simpson. Betting markets opened up for various aspects of Trump's mugshot, including an over/under on how much he'd weigh and whether he'd smile for the picture.[9]

Online, social media users cracked jokes about the anticipation of a mugshot as well. On August 14th, 2023, Twitter user @jessecase[10] joked that a Trump mugshot would "break Etsy," gaining over 7,600 retweets and 96,000 likes in one week (shown below, left). The same day, Twitter user @GalaxyPeaBrain[11] joked that Soundcloud rappers were eagerly awaiting the use of Trump's mugshot as an album cover, gaining over 470 retweets and 8,300 likes in the same timeframe (shown below, right).


Jesse Case @jessecase This will break Etsy Reda @RedaMor Aug 14 BREAKING: Former President Trump will have his mugshot taken when he's arraigned in Fulton County Georgia, per Sheriff Pat Labat. 10:34 PM. Aug 14, 2023

Spread

After the mugshot was released, social media immediately began making jokes about the picture. For example, on August 24th, 2023, Twitter user @randommarnz[14] posted it with the caption, "When I’m craving Chick Fil A but I realize its Sunday," gaining over 800 retweets and 6,900 likes in minutes (shown below, left). User @LordGroot18695[15] posted a doctored mugshot giving Trump Sus Eyebrow, gaining over 230 retweets and 2,300 likes in less than an hour (shown below, right).


@Randommarnz When I'm craving Chick Fil A but I realize its Sunday #TrumpMugShot ...

Donald Trump tweeted[16] for the first time since January 8th, 2021 that evening, tweeting his mugshot and a link to his website (shown below). The tweet gained over 45,000 retweets and 133,000 likes in minutes.


Donald J. Trump @realDonald Trump DONALDJTRUMP.COM MUG SHOT - AUGUST 24, 2023 ELECTION INTERFERENCE NEVER SURRENDER! DONALDJTRUMP.COM 9:38 PM Aug 24, 2023

In the following days, various publications also published collections of the many memes using the mugshot as it continued to trend online in late August 2023.[17][18]

Trump 6'3", 215 pounds

Trump 6'3, 215 pounds refers to Donald Trump's self-reported height and weight for his arrest in his Georgia Indictment, the case which also resulted in his mugshot. Many online suspected Trump was lying about these numbers, noting that he had reported a different height and weight just months earlier in his Hush Money indictment in New York City. Online, users joked about the given statistics, often by comparing Trump to athletes who are close to 6'3" and 215 pounds.



Rudy Giuliani's Mugshot

Rudy Giuliani's Mugshot refers to the picture taken of Rudy Giuliani by the Fulton County Sheriff's Office after his arrest in Donald Trump's Georgia Indictment in late August 2023. The picture led to myriad jokes and memes online in the immediate aftermath of its posting.



Various Examples


SHERIFF FULTON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE PATRICK LABAT COS 19 PARENTAL ADVISORY EXPLICIT CONTENT

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