CNN’s triumphant coverage of former President Donald J. Trump’s trip to the notorious Fulton County jail was going along splendidly until the unpleasant thought occurred that the embattled 2024 GOP frontrunner could use his booking mugshot for political advantage, spoiling the day for two leftist hosts.
During the anti-Trump cable news network’s live reporting on the former president’s motorcade winding its way through the streets of Atlanta that was reminiscent of media coverage of the slow police chase of former football player O.J. Simpson’s white Ford Bronco on a Los Angeles freeway, the idea dawned on CNN political correspondent Sara Murray that the resilient Trump could once again turn the tables on his leftist persecutors.
During the saturation coverage that was reminiscent of state-run television in a place like North Korea, anchor Kaitlan Collins lamented the former president’s lack of humility in the face of the mighty legal apparatus that has been brought down on him, most recently by Fulton County DA Fani Willis with her kitchen sink of racketeering charges against Trump and 18 co-defendants who are essentially being prosecuted for free speech.
“Trump himself has been not downplaying this. I mean, he is certainly seeing how he uses these exact moments to his political advantage, Sarah. I mean you covered it when he was in the White House as well. And he was posting today, what time he expected to be here. 7:30. Here it is 7:34 as he is arriving here,” said CNN’s newest primetime star anchor.
“We love some timely guidance, I guess. Yeah, but he does use these. He uses these for fundraising, he uses these to rally his base. I mean that and that’s one of the questions about this sort of value of a mug shot in this case. Right?” Murray said. “It’s, sure, it’s treating Donald Trump if he does get one, the same as any other defendant but you’re also giving him a photo that there’s no doubt that he’s gonna use on promotional material, he’s gonna use on fundraising material.”
“I believe he made a fake mug shot in the past that he used for fundraising purposes. And I think that’s one of the things that’s gone into consideration in his previous three arrests where he has not had a mug shot is do we really need to do this when we’re talking about a former president of the United States? We know what he looks like,” she added, expressing trepidation that the circus could backfire.
Shortly afterward, Trump proved that CNN’s fears were well-founded, making his long-awaited return to Twitter/X after being banned in the aftermath of the so-called “insurrection” by posting the mugshot.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 25, 2023
Trump’s post, which as of Friday morning had racked up nearly 138 million views, also included a link to a webpage where supporters could donate to the cause.
“No matter how many vicious lies and attacks they throw our way, President Trump will NEVER SURRENDER our great country to the Left’s tyranny! But the Democrats will spend billions and billions of dollars to try and stop our movement, and we’re counting on YOUR support to finish what we started,” Trump’s message on the site reads. “Together, we will DISMANTLE the Deep State, WIN BACK the White House, and SAVE AMERICA in 2024! Please consider completing your contribution today. Thank you!”
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