Biden jokes that rival Trump is a 'handsome guy' when asked about iconic Fulton County mugshot

 August 26, 2023

Former President Donald Trump turned himself in Thursday at the Fulton County Jail in Georgia to be arrested and booked -- including having his mugshot taken -- in relation to the dozens of criminal charges filed against him and others by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.

That unprecedented mugshot of a former president instantly went viral on mainstream and social media, and President Joe Biden even joked to reporters that Trump -- his chief political rival who is being prosecuted by his own Justice Department -- looked "handsome" in the photo, according to The Guardian.

Meanwhile, the public release of the mugshot, as happy as it may have made the former president's legion of haters, appears to have immediately backfired by providing Trump with a rather lucrative new fundraising angle.

"Handsome guy"

On Friday, while vacationing in Lake Tahoe on the border between California and Nevada, President Biden briefly spoke with a gaggle of reporters and at one point was asked if he had seen former President Trump's mugshot yet.

With a laugh -- and amid a chorus of boos from critical onlookers -- Biden said, "I -- I did see it on television," and when pressed for what he thought of the photo, replied, "Handsome guy. Won- -- wonderful guy."

Trump exploits mugshot for fundraising usage

There is little doubt that Fulton County DA Willis insisted upon mugshots being taken of former President Trump -- unlike in the other three prior indictments of Trump -- and his 18 other co-indictees with intent to publicly shame them, but that move instantly backfired, at least with regard to Trump.

The former president, who posed with a glaring scowl for the booking picture, immediately posted it to his social media accounts along with a link to a campaign fundraising website, according to ABC News.

That post on X-Twitter was the first new post on that platform by Trump since he was temporarily suspended from his account in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot of 2021.

Mugshot merchandise for sale

According to The Washington Post, the Trump 2024 also wasted no time -- as little as 90 minutes after the photo was publicly released -- in exploiting the infamy of the mugshot in terms of merchandise available for sale to help financially support Trump's campaign and legal defense efforts.

That includes T-shirts for $34, coffee mugs for $25, a pair of can koozies for $15, and bumper stickers for $12 -- all featuring the mugshot photo.

Further, the Trump Save America Joint Fundraising Committee almost immediately launched a special promotional deal in which supporters who donated exactly $47, in reference to Trump being the 47th president if re-elected in 2024, would be rewarded with a "free" mugshot-emblazoned T-shirt.

The Post noted that other elected Republicans and GOP-aligned groups also sought to fundraise off Trump's mugshot, but Axios reported that the Trump campaign issued a warning insisting that "scammers" would not be tolerated and that permission from the campaign was needed in order to use the now-iconic photo in fundraising efforts.

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