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- The Fulton County, Georgia, sheriff has said former President Donald Trump will be booked into the jail like any other suspect, including having his mug shot taken. But mug shots began appearing online before Trump arrived at the jail.
Former President Donald Trump is expected to surrender at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta on Aug. 24 following 13 criminal charges related to possible interference in the 2020 presidential election.
The Fulton County sheriff has said Trump will be booked into the jail like any other suspect, including having his mug shot taken.
This didn’t happen during the former president’s previous arraignments in New York and federal court in Washington, D.C., but that didn’t stop people from spreading fake booking photos that were created using artificial intelligence.
More such fabricated photos cropped up online ahead of Trump’s Aug. 24 booking.
"Former president @realdonaldtrump mug shot from Fulton country," reads one Aug. 23 Instagram post, misspelling "county" and sharing an image of what looks like Trump staring sternly at the camera.
Another image, also shared Aug. 23, appears to show Trump making a face at someone out of the frame.
These posts were flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)
The Fulton County sheriff’s office didn’t immediately respond to PolitiFact’s questions about these images.
But both were shared the day before Trump was expected to turn himself in.
The county has released the booking photos of Trump’s co-defendants, such as former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani. So, although one of Trump is likely forthcoming, it hadn’t been released when these photos were posted online.
The background of Giuliani’s photo is like the one in the background of the image of Trump making a face, but a reverse-image search shows that this particular image of Trump has been online since at least May 2018, long before his fourth indictment.
Instagram post, Aug. 23, 2023
Instagram post, Aug. 23, 2023
PolitiFact, Don't fall for these fake Donald Trump mug shots. He didn't take one, April 5, 2023
The Guardian, Donald Trump to surrender at Fulton county jail on Thursday night, Aug. 22, 2023
The New York Times, Trump Will Have His Fingerprints Taken, but Not a Mug Shot, Aug. 3, 2023
NPR, Trump is likely to finally get a real mug shot. Does it matter?, Aug. 24, 2023
The Washington Post, Live updates: Trump expected to surrender in Georgia at Fulton County Jail, visited 10:45 a.m. Aug. 24, 2023
The Guardian, Trump Georgia case: Giuliani mugshot released as Meadows and Clark lose attempts to block arrest – as it happened, Aug. 23, 2023
The Daily Beast, Our Presidential Politics Have Always Been Nasty. President Trump Is Something New, May 27, 2018