CNN Reporter Tells Jake Tapper Trump Team Gamed Out Mugshot Pose To Look ‘Defiant’ — ‘Dissected’ Coverage on Plane


CNN correspondent Alayna Treene told anchor Jake Tapper that ex-President Donald Trump’s team planned out the election crimes defendant’s mugshot pose to look “defiant.”

Thursday marked a startling day in American history, as Trump became the first U.S. president to pose for a mugshot as he was arrested in Fulton County, Georgia on 13 counts related to election crimes in a sweeping RICO case brought by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.

The arrest was a three-ring media circus in which every detail was covered in breathless real-time, and reporters anxiously awaited the release of the mugshot, which immediately became the featured image on a cornucopia of campaign merchandise.

Special coverage of the arrest continued on Thursday night’s edition of CNN’s The Source with Kaitlan Collins, during which Treene — amid several interruptions from airplane noise — reported that Trump sources apparently want the world to know he ws trying to look “defiant” in the mugshot, and that he and his team “dissected” the media coverage as they flew in for the arrest:

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 mug shot, Jake.

In a fundraising email following the arrest, Trump’s campaign wrote “This mugshot will forever go down in history as a symbol of America’s defiance of tyranny.”

Watch above via CNN’s The Source with Kaitlan Collins.

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