Trump mocked after claiming he was ‘tortured’ in Georgia jail booking after turning himself in voluntarily

Donald Trump is being ridiculed on social media after claiming in a fundraising email to supporters that he was “tortured” at his Georgia arraignment last August.

“I want you to remember what they did to me,” the Republican presidential candidate’s campaign wrote in its latest mail-out.

“They tortured me in the Fulton County Jail, and TOOK MY MUGSHOT. So guess what? I put it on a mug for the WHOLE WORLD TO SEE!”

Sure enough, the same dispatch offers coffee cups for sale bearing precisely that image, available with a suggested donation of $47 or $100, the former amount a nod to his ambition of becoming America’s 47th president.

The email, characteristically hyperbolic throughout, also contains a special message from Trump that reads: “I’ve been raided, indicted, and convicted in a rigged trial! Despite all of what they throw at me, I will never surrender! Can I count on your sustained support today? You will be the reason we take back our country!”

Trump was indicted by Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis last summer on racketeering charges related to the alleged plot to overturn the Peach State’s 2020 election result in his favour and voluntarily surrendered to authorities at Fulton County Jail in Atlanta on August 24, where the now-infamous mugshot was taken.

Trump wasted no time in using his mugshot to raise money (Reuters)
Trump wasted no time in using his mugshot to raise money (Reuters)

The candidate has continued to use the image ever since, raising campaign funds by featuring it on merchandise and most recently gifting T-shirts bearing it to podcasters Logan Paul and Mike Majlak when they interviewed him for their Impaulsive show, the duo jokily referring to him as a “gangster” in response.

Trump’s email was widely derided on X, with media commentator Mike Sington characterising the appeal as just another “lie to take money from his rubes”.

Another user had questions: “Trump thinks torture includes photographs and fingerprinting? Was he strip-searched? How many criminals are laughing at him?”

A slightly more animated poster wrote: “Trump claims he was tortured in the 20 minutes it took to book him in Fulton County, GA last August. Tortured? In 20 min? With Secret Service all around? We cannot elect a President who is out of his mind.”

Another responded: “Remember when John McCain was LITERALLY tortured at the Hanoi Hilton for 6 years? Trump needs to STFU!”

The reference to the late Arizona Republican senator is apt as McCain was a pilot in the Vietnam War who was indeed detained and tortured during that conflict, only to be later disrespected by Trump, a man who received five draft deferrals.

The New York businessman said of McCain at a campaign event in Iowa in July 2015: “He’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured? I like people who weren’t captured.”

Trump’s notorious booking mugshot released by the Fulton County Sheriff's Office on August 24 2023 (Reuters)
Trump’s notorious booking mugshot released by the Fulton County Sheriff's Office on August 24 2023 (Reuters)

More recently, the former president saw no problem with comparing his being found liable for business fraud and fined $350m plus interest with the killing of Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, who died in an Arctic prison camp in February in highly-suspicious circumstances after being jailed on bogus charges for daring to stand up to Vladimir Putin.

In addition to not taking seriously the ordeals of those who really have been tortured, Trump has a track-record of applying the word flippantly to conservative allies facing repercussions or scrutiny over their past actions that they have not particularly enjoyed.

As president, for instance, he complained in October 2018 that congressional Democrats had “tortured” US Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh at his contentious nomination hearings in the Senate when allegations of past sexual impropriety against him were raised and discussed.

Rudy Giuliani, his former personal attorney, likewise insisted, without evidence, in a March 2020 interview with Fox News host Lou Dobbs that ex-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort had been “tortured” in an effort to turn him against the then-president.