HomeNewsMAUREEN CALLAHAN: Outlaw, folk hero, renegade - THAT mugshot makes Trump an...

MAUREEN CALLAHAN: Outlaw, folk hero, renegade – THAT mugshot makes Trump an American martyr. Why is it that deranged liberals who loathe the ex-president help him at every turn?


Inside that Fulton County jail, Donald J. Trump, weighing in at 6-foot-3-inches tall and 215 pounds, became a newly minted anti-establishment figure.

His mugshot is the stuff of Warhol: Instantly iconic Americana that will be reproduced and repurposed for decades to come.

In the immediate, his enemies have handed him the greatest gift imaginable.

This image has turned a multi-billionaire former president into a folk hero, a renegade, an outlaw.

And America loves nothing more than an outlaw, as Trump well knows.

Within hours, he was selling official merch stamped with the image: mugshot coffee mugs ($25), beer cozies ($15 for a set of 2), t-shirts ($34) and bumper stickers ($12 for a set of 2) all emblazoned with the slogans ‘Never Surrender.’

Guess what we’re all getting in our stockings this Christmas? These tchotchkes make great gifts for the Trump lover and even better gag gifts for the Trump hater.

First U.S. president to submit to a mugshot? Be careful what you wish for.

To laugh at this mugshot is to misunderstand it. Georgia has just crystallized Trump’s campaign message with a copyright-free image that will win him the nomination.

Fani Willis, Georgia’s district attorney, surely felt quite self-satisfied these past two weeks. We all saw her smug press conference announcing Trump’s indictment.

But the mugshot — wholly unnecessary, avoided in Trump’s three other indictments, meant to humiliate and degrade — has opened up a brand new revenue stream and re-energized Trump’s already fanatical base.

As has Fulton County’s explanation.

His mugshot is the stuff of Warhol: Instantly iconic Americana that will be reproduced and repurposed for decades to come.

His mugshot is the stuff of Warhol: Instantly iconic Americana that will be reproduced and repurposed for decades to come.

Within hours, he was selling official merch stamped with the image: mugshot coffee mugs ($25), beer cozies ($15 for a set of 2), t-shirts ($34) and bumper stickers ($12 for a set of 2) all emblazoned with the slogans ¿Never Surrender.¿

Within hours, he was selling official merch stamped with the image: mugshot coffee mugs ($25), beer cozies ($15 for a set of 2), t-shirts ($34) and bumper stickers ($12 for a set of 2) all emblazoned with the slogans ‘Never Surrender.’

‘Unless somebody tells me differently,’ Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat said in early August, ‘we are following our normal practices… it doesn’t matter your status. We’ll have a mugshot ready for you.’

Please. No one buys that this mugshot isn’t politically motivated. Donald Trump is one of the most photographed people on the planet. It’s not as if he’s going to jump bail.

Truly, it’s mystifying: Those who loathe Trump, who have come to know him intimately, still don’t get him!

On Friday morning, hours after the arraignment, talking heads on CNN were lamenting reports that Trump and his team had thought about the optics of the mug shot — what his expression should convey, his bearing, what colors he should wear.

Of course they did. They would be fools not to. Dressed in red, white and blue, Trump confronts the camera dead-on, chin lowered yet bearing unbowed, his face an expression of pure rage.

It’s perfect. It conveys everything Trump clearly wants: He is a patriot, a political martyr. He won’t stand for this and neither should America. This is a travesty that Trump will avenge.

Try to destroy him and he only emerges stronger.

Those who rejoice in Trump’s arraignment here — and I am among them — should rue this mugshot. It elevates Trump beyond politics to the realm of pure pop culture. It’s the apotheosis of his reality-TV approach to campaigning, feuding, saying the most outrageous stuff imaginable and somehow, even when it seems he’s losing, pulling yet another rabbit out of his hat.

Indicted on RICO charges? There’s a new Teflon Don in town.

This image has turned a multi-billionaire former president into a folk hero, a renegade, an outlaw. And America loves nothing more than an outlaw, as Trump well knows.

This image has turned a multi-billionaire former president into a folk hero, a renegade, an outlaw. And America loves nothing more than an outlaw, as Trump well knows.

¿Unless somebody tells me differently,' Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat (above) said in early August, 'we are following our normal practices¿ it doesn¿t matter your status. We¿ll have a mugshot ready for you.¿

‘Unless somebody tells me differently,’ Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat (above) said in early August, ‘we are following our normal practices… it doesn’t matter your status. We’ll have a mugshot ready for you.’

Trump doesn’t just get the appeal of transgressiveness — he is the ultimate transgressive. ‘Grab ’em by the p•••y’, ‘I like people who weren’t captured’, ‘Very fine people on both sides’ — nothing takes Trump down. This mugshot won’t either.

This is where the left continually gets it wrong. They think Trump isn’t serious, isn’t wily, doesn’t possess smarts.

Oh, but he does. Trump is a brawler in Brioni, the ultimate pro wrestler of politics, a nimble adapter to a post-TV age. He sits down with fellow insider-turned-outsider Tucker Carlson for a fireside chat — minus the fire — on Elon Musk’s X, counterprogramming the first GOP presidential debate on Fox, correctly predicting the end result.

‘We’ll get bigger ratings using this crazy forum that you’re using,’ Trump told Carlson, ‘than probably the debate, our competition.’

Fox had 12.8 million viewers. Compare that to the Trump-Tucker interview, which clocked nearly 200 million eyeballs.

As slippery as that metric may be — X counts mere seconds of streaming as a ‘view’ — Trump knew what the headline would be: He smashed Fox.

It was. And nothing any of the participating GOP candidates did or said in that official debate dominated the next day’s news cycle, because Trump shrewdly decided to report for arraignment that same day — 24 hours ahead of his deadline.

That decision sucked up all that post-debate oxygen as network and cable news breathlessly reported from Georgia — all day long — until Trump turned up a little after 7 p.m. He had been expected to report at 4.

Trump doesn't just get the appeal of transgressiveness ¿ he is the ultimate transgressive. 'Grab 'em by the p¿¿¿y', 'I like people who weren't captured', 'Very fine people on both sides' ¿ nothing takes Trump down. This mugshot won't either.

Trump doesn’t just get the appeal of transgressiveness — he is the ultimate transgressive. ‘Grab ’em by the p•••y’, ‘I like people who weren’t captured’, ‘Very fine people on both sides’ — nothing takes Trump down. This mugshot won’t either.

Trump is a brawler in Brioni, the ultimate pro wrestler of politics, a nimble adapter to a post-TV age.

Trump is a brawler in Brioni, the ultimate pro wrestler of politics, a nimble adapter to a post-TV age.

Nothing is an accident.

We and our children and our children’s children will see that mugshot reinterpreted on museum walls, on dorm room posters, on T-shirts that make him an anti-hero till the end of days. It’s as instantly iconic as Jackie Kennedy in her pillbox hat, Muhammad Ali in the ring, Elvis at the White House.

There’s a reason some celebrities, the late Prince among them, faked their own arrests, their own mugshots. A famous face stripped of all dignity becomes the literal representation not just of prosecution but persecution.

And that plays right into Trump’s base, whose fervor for him is religious. But unlike Jesus Christ, this former world leader will not turn the other cheek. He will fight back — not for himself, Trump says, but for his followers.

As he told a crowd in late June, following his first two indictments: ‘In 2016, I declared: I am your voice. Today I add: I am your warrior. I am your justice. And for those who have been wrong and betrayed, I am your retribution . . . I consider it a great badge of courage. I’m being indicted for you.’

Trump doubled down after his Georgia arraignment on Thursday.

‘What has taken place here is a travesty of justice,’ he said. ‘We did nothing wrong, I did nothing wrong, and everybody knows it. I’ve never had such support.’

Underestimate him at your peril, Georgia prosecutors. Enjoy your momentary glee for now, left-wing media. Because this mugshot and the ensuing trial — which will doubtless be televised, saving an entertainment industry paralyzed by two ongoing strikes — will redound to Trump’s benefit.

Bigly.



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