Could Donald Trump pardon Joe Exotic?
During a White House press conference on Wednesday, a reporter asked President Donald Trump if he plans on pardoning the “Tiger King”?
Joseph “Joe Exotic” Maldonado-Passage, is the subject of the Netflix documentary series, which garnered more than 34 million viewers within the first 10 days of its March 20 release, according to Nielsen. In 2018, he was convicted of attempted murder for hire and other wildlife violations including five tigers. He was sentenced to 22 years in prison.
New York Post reporter Steven Nelson asked the question.
“One of the biggest rating hits of the coronavirus, aside from these briefings, has been a show on Netflix called ‘Tiger King,'” he said. “The man who’s the star of this is a former zoo owner who is serving a 22-year prison sentence. He’s asking you for a pardon, saying he was unfairly convicted.”
Nelson also brought up that Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., “jokingly said he was going to advocate” for the pardon.
“I was wondering if you’ve seen the show and if you have any thoughts on pardoning Joe Exotic,” Nelson continued.
The president smiled.
“Which son? Must be Don,” Trump said. “I had a feeling it was Don. Is that what he said? I don’t know. I know nothing about it. He has 22 years for what? What did he do?”
Nelson described the show and the charges against Joe Exotic.
“Do you think he did do it? Are you on his side? Are you recommending a pardon?” Trump replied. “As a reporter you’re not allowed to do that, you’d be criticized.”
“I don’t think you would,” said Trump. “I’ll take a look.”
President Trump: “Would you recommend a pardon?”
Jim @Acosta: “I’m not weighing in on Tiger King.”
— CSPAN (@cspan) April 8, 2020