Trump’s mug shot taken at the Fulton County jail, is being used by the former president to raise money for the cost of his defense which, given the number of criminal cases alone (4 of them in 4 separate jurisdictions and 91 counts charged), will be astronomical. Trump’s mug shot is also being used by the Democrats to raise money for Biden’s re-election. Trump, in short, is a thoroughly polarizing figure in America and his face elicits radically different emotions depending on your news sources and your politics. Even as he cements his lead with what is left of the Republican Party that is willing to cling to him, he is losing with the key demographic any Republican must have to win the presidency in a general election: the all-important independents.

Most Americans aren’t in the cult of Trump. They don’t think Trump’s mug shot is evidence of a witch hunt. They think his mug shot is evidence that he’s a criminal.

In the mug shot Trump looks like he is glowering. He seems to be trying to look like the face of vengeance. He must have practiced that look in the mirror to perfect it for the picture. That look is probably intended to be a dark warning to America that Trump and his cult followers will seek revenge. But the message he “X” ed out (I guess you say “x”d instead of “tweeted” now) along with his mug shot, was a total contradiction of that: The caption reads Never Surrender under a mug shot that makes it perfectly clear that he didn’t follow his own advice.


This is pure Trump.  Trump is all about how things look. He is all about posturing and drama,  He has lived in a world of pretense, fantasy and lies of his own making where he is all powerful and in control, but I think he is becoming more aware he will be forced to live a world of reality where he is not in control anymore and not powerful anymore.  Above all, he will finally have consequences for breaking the law. Even so, he pushes an alternate world on his followers the way every would-be autocrat does. Often what is said and pushed is the opposite of the truth. Propaganda is the name of the game. Create the alternate reality and then sustain it with a captive press, with your exhortations and with the help of millions of followers.

The problem for Trump is that this play will not work as the truth comes out and Trump loses control of the narrative and his image. Trump’s power to control the narrative is about to be eviscerated by a legal system that doesn’t accept fantasy as fact. Reality is coming. It is already seeping in at the doors and the windows and chinks in the alternate reality house that Trump built.

Trump’s evangelical and white supremacist base might still believe he is their god and use denial to stay uninformed, but for Americans who are not willing to be deceived, Trump is already being exposed for the person he always was. The mug shot is evidence of that. Trump is and was a criminal and a mob boss. The mug shot is definitional. He is no better than the other thugs caught up in the criminal system. As evidence in these trials expose more of the truth about Trump, more Americans will realize what Trump was up to.

And what was Trump up to?

Trump is and was a greedy, arrogant, narcissistic guy who cheated and lied to stay in power and in the process divided our country and damaged our democracy by trying to cancel the votes millions of Americans.

Anyone who has followed his career knows that Trump has broken many laws and gotten away with it. Some were civil and some were criminal but he seemed to be untouched. At first he must have been amazed to get away with it all. Using bravado and stalling, a team of lawyers to protect him, learning how to talk out of both sides of his mouth to get crime boss deniability, throwing his money and power around, and demanding loyalty from his “subserviants” –all of this has worked like a charm to protect him. Even though Trump has not said it yet and maybe never will, I think he is finally afraid he will face consequences for what he did. He might pretend to love all the attention, good or bad, and do his best to convince everyone about the power of his threatened revenge, but the truth is that on some level Trump understands that he is finally going to confront a reality he has been able to evade most of his life.

This time is different. And Trump must know it.

How do we know he knows it? Because for the first time he has moderated his post mug shot tweet to comply with the restrictions spelled out in his bail requirements. Criminal defendants are allowed bail as a way to stay out of prison. But they have to comply with the terms of their bail. Failure to comply can mean incarceration. In Trump’s case he has at least 3 serious judges who have warned him about the dangers he faces if he engages in witness tampering, intimidation or tainting the jury pool. This kind of bad behavior is Trump’s go-to method of protecting himself from consequences. But fear of going to jail looks like it might work to shut down at least some of that behavior.

Here are the conditions of his bail in the Georgia case:

The $200,000 bond package to which Trump agreed on Monday includes standard provisions barring him from making direct or indirect threats against witnesses or his 18 co-defendants in the case, which concerns his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss to Democratic President Joe Biden.

This applies to posts and reposts on social media, including Trump’s own platform Truth Social, which he routinely uses to attack the legitimacy of the four criminal cases against him and the prosecutors who brought them.

Trump is also barred from talking directly or indirectly about the case with co-defendants or potential witnesses unless lawyers are present. (Reuters)

After the mug shot, Trump took to Twitter (X) instead of posting on his own social media platform as he usually does.

NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump has returned to X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter, firing off his first message in more than 2 1/2 years shortly after he surrendered at an Atlanta jail on charges he conspired to overturn his election loss.

He posted a photo of his mug shot and the words “Election interference. Never surrender!” along with a link to his website, which directs to a fundraising page.

It was Trump’s first post since Jan. 8, 2021, when Twitter suspended his account indefinitely, citing fears he would incite additional violence following the deadly storming of the U.S. Capitol building. His account was reinstated last November shortly after Elon Musk took over the company. But Trump had refrained from tweeting, insisting that he was happier on his own Truth Social site, which he launched during the ban. (AP)


Trump posted on Twitter(X) because he is desperately in need of money to pay his lawyers and there are more people on that platform who might be willing to shell out some bucks for him.

But for the very first time Trump moderated his messaging. He did NOT attack the Fulton County judge or any other judge. He did not attack witnesses. His tweet(x) conformed with the requirements of his bail.

There is nothing like getting booked at a wretched place like the Fulton County jail to help you get real. I think Trump just got smacked upside the head with a truth bomb. And I think more reality is coming.


A new POLITICO Magazine/Ipsos poll provides some bad news for Trump: Even as he remains the clear frontrunner for the Republican nomination, the cascading indictments are likely to take a toll on his general election prospects.

The survey results suggest Americans are taking the cases seriously — particularly the Justice Department’s 2020 election case — and that most people are skeptical of Trump’s claim to be the victim of a legally baseless witch hunt or an elaborate, multi-jurisdictional effort to “weaponize” law enforcement authorities against him.

Furthermore, public sentiment in certain areas — including how quickly to hold a trial and whether to incarcerate Trump if he’s convicted — is moving against the former president when compared to a previous POLITICO Magazine/Ipsos poll conducted in June. This latest poll was conducted from Aug. 18 to Aug. 21, roughly two-and-a-half weeks after Trump’s second federal indictment and several days after Trump was criminally charged in Fulton County.  (Politico)

61 percent of all respondents — said that the trial should take place before the general election next November.

It was the reaction of independents, however, that may prove most ominous for Trump. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of independents said that Trump should stand trial before next November — a figure that suggests particular interest in and attentiveness to a case that effectively alleges that Trump tried to steal the last election.

There is considerable room for the numbers to get worse for Trump.

Despite the seeming tsunami of news coverage of Trump’s legal issues, a sizable portion of the public is still learning about the alleged crimes of the former president.

Most respondents said that they understand the charges in the pending cases either very well or somewhat well, with the highest numbers — more than 60 percent — saying so about the federal prosecutions. But somewhere between roughly one-quarter and one-third of respondents said that they do not understand the charges in the cases well. (Politico)



Kenneth Chesebro is one of Trump’s codefendants indicted by Fani Willis in Georgia. He is the attorney who helped John Eastman figure out how to game the electoral process using constitutional language to create a pretense for red states to hand the outcome to Trump. He has demanded his right to a speedy trial. Other attorney codefendants, Jenna Ellis, Sidney Powell, and possibly John Eastman, may join in that demand. If a defendant requests a speedy trial it must start within 60 days after the arraignment.

Many people were exasperated that Fani Willis took so long to indict. But now we know that Willis was engaged in a massive RICO investigation and probably also did extensive pretrial preparation so that her team would be ready to go at the time of the arraignment. When Chesebro requested a speedy trial, Willis was all in. Her response showed that she is ready to go. October 23rd is just about 2 months from now.

Trump doesn’t want a speedy trial, of course. A speedy trial will hurt him because it will rip away the protective shield of the alternate universe, the fantasy world in which he is still godlike and the best president ever. His goal is to delay and delay until he gets the Republican nomination and maybe wins the presidency back with the help of Republicans in red states who have passed laws that they think will suppress enough votes of black and brown and young Americans to help Trump get re-elected.

An October trial in Georgia starting on the 23rd will give the American people the opportunity to see and hear the evidence against Trump. Georgia allows cameras in the courtroom. The facts will come out from the mouths of witnesses and people in the room where it happened. Whether or not Trump’s Georgia case is tried at the same time (they could be severed), the facts about what Trump did will be exposed to the public. Americans will get the truth without the conservative media filter. This is Trump’s worst nightmare.

Maybe that’s what Trump is really thinking about in this mug shot. A reckoning is coming. Trump knows what he did. He knows it was really bad and really wrong. He knows that even now only about 30% of the electorate is on his side. He gets it that the sooner Americans realize the truth about what he tried to do, the more likely it is that even if he wins the GOP nomination he will end up in prison. The image he built up for years on The Apprentice and as president is about to be decimated. Too few Americans will vote for a criminal to be their president.