UPDATED: 9:55 a.m. ET, March 31
Originally published on March 22
These internet streets were very hungry to see Donald Trump arrested and jailed ahead of the criminal indictment returned by a grand jury on Thursday that stems from hush money allegedly paid to a porn star as he ran for president back in 2016.
Last week, content creators fed hat craving by serving up deepfake photos created by artificial intelligence that show depictions of the former president being angrily hauled away by would-be NYPD officers, looking dejected in court and sitting in a jail cell draped in an orange jumpsuit typically seen on prisoners.
Some of the fake images show Trump running from police officers, something cynical critics on social media suggested the former president couldn’t do in real life because he isn’t physically fit enough.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the term “deepfake,” the Associated Press defines it as “a manipulated video or other digital representation produced by sophisticated machine-learning techniques that yield seemingly realistic, but fabricated, images and sounds.”
But upon close inspection, there’s usually a tell-tale sign that they’re not real.
In this case, we know they’re not real because Trump has not been arrested as of Friday morning.
The photos began populating social media timelines last Wednesday and likely will not match what happens to Trump if and when he is arrested, according to one former prosecutor who doubts the former president will be paraded in front of the media like many other accused criminals.
Any expectations of enjoying the optics of seeing Trump being handcuffed, pushed into a squad car and driven downtown for booking are probably delusions of grandeur, according to one former prosecutor.
The process of a traditional arrest will take place, former U.S. Army prosecutor Glenn Kirschner told USA Today, but it will not happen traditionally, so to speak.
That means that it’s highly doubtful that there will be a “perp walk” of Trump walking in handcuffs so that the media can photograph and video the so-called money shot of an accused criminal being publicly shamed, Kirschner said.
“There will be no reason to cuff him and walk him into police headquarters to be booked,” Kirschner told USA Today.
However, the world will get to see a photo of Trump being booked that will live in infamy no matter how the case turns out.
“There will still be a mug shot, fingerprints and lots of paperwork filled out as part of the booking process,” Kirschner continued. “So we will see a mug shot of a former President of the United States but I do not think we’re going to see a perp walk.”
With that said, the photos aren’t a stretch by any means of the imagination, what with Trump’s persistent denials of any legal culpability for any of the allegations he’s facing from multiple district attorneys investigating him.
In fact, Trump a couple of weekends ago urged his followers to “protest” and “take our nation back” is he is arrested, using language that nearly mirrors that of his speech in the hours before conservatives violently and illegally broke into the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and disrupted the U.S. Senate certifying the election of Joe Biden at the behest of the former president.
In the meantime, until that mug shot is made public, the likely only satisfying optics for people who oppose Trump can be found below in the form of computer-generated images of his arrest and jailing. Scroll down for a sampling of the social media brilliance that is deepfake photos of Trump being arrested, arraigned and jailed.
1. Run, Donald, runSource:Twitter
11. Officer Joe Biden?Source:Twitter
12. Trump’s fake arraignmentSource:Twitter
13. Rotting in jailSource:Twitter
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