Ben Shapiro’s horrified reaction to Trump’s mug shot backfires as old interview resurfaces

Ex-president is already using his mugshot to fundraise

Graig Graziosi
Friday 25 August 2023 19:47 BST
Related video: Donald Trump arrested for fourth time

Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro was called out on X/Twitter after he insisted that Donald Trump's Fulton County mugshot was "vindictive," despite earlier comments supporting the criminal indictment of presidents.

The conservative commenter appears to have changed his stance on the indictment of presidents since 2014.

That year, Shapiro sat with Larry King and offered the opinion that presidents should be tried as criminals in an effort to curb their "criminality" in the future.

The world Shapiro imagined has come to pass — former President Donald Trump has been indicted, again, this time in Georgia on accusations that he and 18 others attempted to reverse the state's 2020 presidential election results.

But now Shapiro doesn't seem to like it.

"He's the most photographed person on Earth," Shapiro said of Mr Trump on X/Twitter. "The mugshot was completely unnecessary and vindictive, of course. But it's going to backfire dramatically, since this image is instantly iconic."

Brian Tyler Cohen, the host of the No Lie podcast, posted the video alongisde Shapiro’s current handwringing to show the apparent shift in his thinking.

Mr Trump surrendered to authorities in Fulton County on Thursday evening, and a mugshot of the former president quickly began making the rounds on social media.

He appears against a grey background, the Fulton County Sheriff's badge looming above his head. The image is grainy and Mr Trump appears hunched over and scowling into the camera, wearing his typical blue suit and red tie.

It's unclear why Shapiro thinks the mugshot was unnecessary; it's typical for accused individuals to be subjected to photographing by law enforcement, and those photos are public record.

Other defendants who surrendered to Fulton County authorities — including former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Trump lawyers Jenna Ellis and John Eastman, and "Kraken" attorney Sidney Powell — also had mugshots taken, and those were also released to the public.

Shapiro did correctly assume that Mr Trump would use the mugshot for his own purposes; he shared an image on Truth Social of his photo along with the words — in all caps, naturally — "ELECTION INTERFERENCE" and "NEVER SURRENDER!" as well as a link to his website, where a plea for donations is prominently featured.

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