$7.1 million raised since Trump mugshot release, says campaign

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign says it has raised $7.1 million since the former president’s now-viral mugshot was released after he was booked at a Georgia jail on racketeering and conspiracy charges on Thursday night.

The figures were provided by his campaign to U.S. politics based paper, POLITICO.

His presidential campaign said he raised $4.18 million on Friday alone – the highest total over a 24-hour period of his campaign to date, the paper reported.

Trump now leads rival Ron DeSantis by almost 40 percentage points as the race for the Republican presidential nomination closes in, according to an Ipsos poll which closed on Friday. That’s despite Trump declining to debate DeSantis and other rivals.

As DeSantis and seven other Republican hopefuls took part in the debate in Milwaukee, Tucker Carlson posted a pre-recorded interview given by Trump, aimed at drawing away viewers.

After surrendering to State authorities in Fulton County, Georgia, Trump had his mugshot taken. He broke a Twitter absence of two years to post the mugshot on the platform, along with the words, “Election interference, never surrender”, in an apparent bid to raise funds for legal costs and campaigning:

Trump saw a fundraising opportunity with the release of the scowling mugshot, with the marketing hail fueled by mugshot merchandise. Much of the money was brought in through t-shirts, bumper stickers, drink coolers, and mugs emblazoned with the mugshot, taken at Fulton County Jail, in Atlanta on Thursday.

One retailer told The Epoch Times that demand for the merchandise was “unprecedented”.

Richard Kligman, who owns of two Trump Superstores located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, said:

“People are going nuts. I’ve been in retail for more than forty years and I have never seen anything like this,” Mr. Kligman told The Epoch Times. “It truly is unprecedented. People want anything with the Trump mug shot image on it and we are desperately trying as hard as we can to keep up with demand.”

Mr Trump was released on $200,000 bail from the Georgia prison, after being charged over his alleged efforts to interfere with the results of the 2020 election.

He blasted the case, which accuses him of subverting the 2020 election results, describing it as “a travesty of justice” as he released a defiant one-minute video address following Thursday night’s arrest.

In the message to reporters before heading to the airport, Mr Trump insisted he did “nothing wrong” – after he became the first former US president to have a mugshot taken.

The former president could be set to take the stand in a trial in just two months’ time. Prosecutors in Georgia are believed to be pushing for a fast trial, with Fani Willis, the district attorney prosecuting Mr Trump and 18 others over an alleged “criminal enterprise” to overturn the state’s presidential vote, having requested a trial date of 23rd October.

However Mr Trump said: “I really believe it’s a very sad day for America. It should never happen. “If you challenge an election, you should be able to challenge an election. I thought the election was a rigged election, a stolen election, and I should have every right to do that.

“As you know you have many people that you’ve been watching over the years do the same thing, whether it’s Hillary Clinton or Stacey Abrams or many others, when you have that great freedom to challenge, you have to be able to otherwise you get a very dishonest election.

“What has taken place here is a travesty of justice. We did nothing wrong, I did nothing wrong and everybody knows that I’ve never had such support and that goes with the other ones too.

“What they’re doing is election interference. They’re trying to interfere with an election. There’s never been anything like it in our country before. This is their way of campaigning and this is one instance, but you have three other instances. It’s election interference.

“So I want to thank you for being here. We did nothing wrong at all and we have every right, every single right to challenge an election that we think is dishonest and we think it’s very dishonest. So thank you all very much and I’ll see you very soon. Thank you very much.”

As he continues his campaign for the 2024 election, Mr Trump faces three other indictments. The indictments include two related to claims that the election was stolen, and the attack on the Capitol in Washington.

He denies all charges and has argued that the cases against him are politically driven as he is leading the race for the Republican nomination to replace Democratic president Joe Biden.

Delivering a statement before boarding a plane in Washington earlier this month, Trump described the charges against him as the “persecution of a political opponent.”

“This is a very sad day for America, and it was also very sad driving through Washington DC and seeing all the filth and the decay, and all of the broken buildings and walls and the graffiti. This is not the place that I left. It’s a very sad thing to see it.

“When you look at what’s happening, this was never supposed to happen in America. This is the persecution of the person that is leading by very, very substantial numbers in the Republican primary, and leading Biden by a lot. So if you can’t beat ‘em, you persecute ‘em or you prosecute ‘em. We can’t let this happen in America,” Mr Trump said.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden has rejected accusations he had any involvement in the move to charge his predecessor.

Asked on Friday if he had seen Trump’s mugshot, Biden, while on vacation, told reporters “I did see it on television – handsome guy.”

President Biden’s approval rating sat at 40% in early August, with many Americans expressing dissatisfaction about the state of the economy under the Biden presidency, according to the latest Ipsos poll.

Insiders have said that his reelection campaign will try to focus on the differences between the two presidential candidates.

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