Trump picture fuels internet frenzy

First came the mugshot. Then came the mugs. Then the shot glasses.

Following Donald Trump’s surrender at the Fulton county jail on Thursday evening, the highly anticipated mugshot of the former president spread swiftly across the internet as both ends of the political spectrum raced to commodify and meme-ify the picture.

Related: Mugshotted, Trump’s veneer of immunity cracked. Yet his wrath is bottomless | Lloyd Green

The Trump 2024 campaign was quick to print the president’s hostile glare on to merchandise including mugs, coolers and premium cotton shirts ranging from small to 2XL. Accompanying all the new mugshot merchandise, which also included a 4in x 4in vinyl bumper sticker, were the words: “NEVER SURRENDER!”

The face of the first former American president to sit for a mugshot also found itself on shot glasses being sold by the Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump Republican group.

For $15, customers can purchase a glass with Trump’s mugshot. On the back is “FAFO”, the acronym for “Fuck Around and Find Out”. The Lincoln Project also offered a combo deal, for those looking to purchase glasses featuring co-conspirators John Eastman, Jenna Ellis, Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell and Mark Meadows, all of whom had their photos taken at the Atlanta jail this week.

Claude Taylor, a former Bill Clinton White House staffer now chair of the liberal political action committee Mad Dog Pac, released his own merchandise: a steel mug featuring Trump’s mugshot and the words, “CRIMINAL DEFENDANT”.

“This lightweight, powder-coated carbon steel, 16oz mug is perfect for camping, tailgating, picnics … oh, wait! Sorry. Perfect for PRISON!” the mug’s description read.

Independent sellers on Etsy joined in on the commodification, one seller releasing a T-shirt featuring multi-colored mugshots of Trump and other co-conspirators.

“DONALD TRUMP – THE RICO TOUR,” the shirt read, a tongue-in-cheek play on official merchandise from Taylor Swift’s Eras tour.

Another seller released made-to-order 3D-printed mugshot earrings with the option of 14K gold plated or stainless steel hooks.

“Your choice of Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, or Mark Meadows,” a description said.

Those not looking to make a buck from the mugshot chimed in on the internet frenzy.

A meme posted by “@texan_maga” on the platform formerly known as Twitter featured Trump’s mugshot with at least 18 guns pointed at his face, labeled “FBI”, “FAKE NEWS”, “DEMOCRATS”, “INDICTMENT”, “DOJ”, GLOBALISTS”, DEEP STATE”, FASCISTS” and “ANTIFA”.

“WE STAND UNITED WITH TRUMP!” the meme said.

A TikTok account called “@trumpmugshothahaha” posted an edited clip of Nickelback’s 2005 song Photograph, in which lead singer, Chad Kroeger, holds up a photo frame. Trump’s angry glare replaced the original photo as Kroeger sang: “Look at this photograph, every time I do it makes me laugh.”

The video, which by Friday lunchtime had been viewed more than 800,000 times, appeared to clap back at a meme Trump tweeted back in 2019, featuring a photo of Joe Biden, his son Hunter and Devon Archer, a colleague of Hunter who was labeled as a “Ukraine gas exec”. The video was removed from Twitter after a copyright claim from Nickelback.

A meme posted by “@TheWapplehouse” racked up nearly 25,000 likes. It showed Trump’s mugshot with what appeared to be an overlay of a microwave screen.

“What the chicken nuggets in my microwave see at 3am,” the caption read.

Another meme, posted by “@nagy_minaj”, featured an edited photo of Trump and Giuliani’s mugshots.

“My friend and I saw you from across the bar and really dig your vibe,” said the caption. In response, one user wrote: “This just triggered my fight or flight.”

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