Donald Trump asked about potential pardon for Tiger King’s Joe Exotic 3 years ago

Donald Trump asked about potential pardon for Tiger King’s Joe Exotic

“I’ll take a look.”

Narrator: He will not take a look.


US President Donald Trump said he will “take a look” at a potential pardon for Joe Exotic, star of the wildly popular Netflix documentary series Tiger King, in response to a question from a reporter at a White House press conference on Wednesday.

It should be noted that Trump’s response should not be taken all that seriously considering he appeared to have no idea why Joe Exotic, AKA Joseph Maldonado-Passage, is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence and knows nothing about probably the most-talked about series of 2020 so far.

Trump was asked about Joe Exotic by New York Post reporter Steven Nelson, who referenced Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., jokingly advocating a pardon for the former big cat breeder.

"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," said Nelson.


"I was wondering if you've seen the show and if you have any thoughts on pardoning Joe Exotic," he asked.

"Which son? Must be Don," Trump responded.

"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?"


After asking Nelson and another reporter present if they would recommend a pardon for Joe Exotic, Trump said he would “take a look” at it before moving onto a question about the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nelson subsequently addressed the trivial nature of his question at the press conference by pointing out that he also asked questions about World Health Organisation (WHO) coronavirus funding and the recovery infrastructure bill.


To answer Trump’s question, Joe Exotic is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence for falsifying wildlife records, violating the Endangered Species Act by killing five tiger cubs and federal charges for his role in a 2017 murder-for-hire plot against Big Cat Rescue founder and fierce rival Carole Baskin.

According to his husband, Dillon Passage, Joe Exotic was recently transferred from coronavirus isolation in a Texas prison where inmates had tested positive for Covid-19 to a prison medical centre at another facility.