During a CNN broadcast, Alayna Treene, a correspondent, told presenter Jake Tapper that a team associated with former President Donald Trump orchestrated the photograph posture of the defendant involved in election crimes to convey defiance.
Thursday was a significant day in American history, as former President Donald Trump became the first occupant of the White House to have his mugshot taken following his arrest in Fulton County, Georgia. As part of a comprehensive Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) litigation filed by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, thirteen electoral offense allegations were the basis for the arrest.
The arrest was a highly publicized event characterized by extensive media coverage, with reporters anxiously anticipating the release of the suspect’s photograph, which quickly became the conspicuous image on a wide variety of campaign-related merchandise.
The arrest was extensively discussed on CNN’s The Source with Kaitlan Collins on Thursday night. Despite frequent interruptions from airplane commotion, Treene, the reporter, relayed that sources close to Trump allegedly intended to convey his desire to appear “defiant” in the photograph. During their voyage to the location of the arrest, Trump and his staff also conducted a critical analysis of the media coverage.
TAPPER: Everyone, hang on. I want to bring in CNN’s Alayna Treene, who traveled, with Donald Trump’s motorcade, to the Fulton County Jail, and has some new reporting, on his mug shot.
Alayna, what can you tell us?
ALAYNA TREENE, CNN REPORTER: Right, well, Jake, the former President’s team had actually discussed, what they wanted that mug shot, to look like, prior to him going to the Fulton County Jail, and taking it.
And the former President himself ultimately decided that he wanted to look, quote, “Defiant.” That is something that his advisers have told me. And he chose purposefully not to smile.
Now, of course, you can tell that the former President and his team are taking a lot of attention to this mug shot. They’re sharing it. The former President just rejoined Twitter, also recently rebranded as X, to share that mug shot. And, I think, you can expect them, to fundraise off of it, as they have fundraised off of fake mug shot, in the past.
And so, from my conversations, with them, also on the ground, here, in Atlanta, they were happy with how that looked. Of course, that is what they are telling us. There’s always a different picture, behind-the- scenes.
I also know that Donald Trump, despite wanting to appear defiant, today, has been frustrated, about this process, was frustrated that he had to come, to Georgia, and go through another process, like this, yet again.
Now, some other reporting I have, Jake, is that Donald Trump, on the plane ride, to Atlanta, was watching a lot of those news shows, a lot of news coverage
TREENE: No, what I was trying to say? Yes. So, I’m still by the airport, where Donald Trump had just recently taken off, and is heading back to Bedminster.
But on that plane, on the way here, his team, as well as Donald Trump, was watching cable news coverage, of his surrender, as well as the debates, dissecting it, as they often do, on these trips. And he’s continuing to watch it on his way back.
I know we have another plane coming, so apologies for the audio.
But they are very tuned in, to what the media is saying, about his surrender, today.
And again, with that mug shot, his team seems happy with it. I’m still getting texts, from his aides, who are currently on the plane with him.
There’s a reason that he is sharing this, repeatedly, on social media, and rejoined Twitter, in order to share that photo. And so, I think you’re going to continue to see them try to monetize, off of this, and get as much media attention, as they can, from that mugshot, Jake.
Following Donald Trump’s arrest, his campaign sent out a fundraising email stating, “This mugshot will forever go down in history as a symbol of America’s defiance of tyranny.”