Donald Trump campaign raises $7.1 million after police booking, mug shot

This handout image released by the Fulton County Sheriff's Office on August 24, 2023 shows the booking photo of former US President Donald Trump. Donald Trump surrendered on racketeering charges and had his mugshot taken at a Georgia jail on August 24, setting the stage for a fourth criminal trial in 2024. PHOTO |  FULTON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE 

Donald Trump's presidential campaign said Sunday that it has raised $7.1 million since the Republican billionaire's mug shot was released after he was booked on racketeering and conspiracy charges at a Georgia jail this week.

The campaign had quickly embraced the scowling image of the former president -- the first mug shot of a serving or former US leader -- as the symbol of his bid to take back the White House in 2024.

"Close to $20m raised in the last 3 weeks, coinciding with the DC indictment and Atlanta mugshot," campaign spokesman Steven Cheung confirmed to AFP on Sunday.

"$7.1m since Thursday (Atlanta mugshot). $4.18m yesterday alone, the highest grossing day of the entire campaign," he continued.

"Organic money has skyrocketed, especially after President Trump tweeted out the picture along with the website."

On X, formerly known as Twitter, Cheung urged US media to "Please continue to show it," and included what he said was a high-resolution version of the image. 

T-shirts, mugs, stickers and beverage coolers bearing the mug shot -- arguably now the most famous in US history -- were put out by Trump's team within hours of the photo's release.

Notably absent from the merchandise is the local sheriff's badge watermark that appeared in the image released by authorities.

While such a photo would surely sink any other political candidate, for 77-year-old Trump it plays into his narrative of a defiant, heroic victim.

Marketing experts have even likened it to the "Hope" poster from Barack Obama's successful 2008 presidential campaign.

Democrats have also used it, however, suggesting that it shows no one is above the law. 

As for Biden, he shrugged it off in comments to reporters on Friday, quipping: "I did see it on television. Handsome guy."