Donald Trump says he will ‘look at’ pardoning Tiger King’s Joe Exotic after Don Jr. said zoo-owner’s 22-year prison sentence for murder-for-hire seemed ‘aggressive’
- President Trump said he would look into pardoning Joe Exotic, the star of the Netflix series ‘Tiger King’
- ‘I’ll take a look,’ Trump told reporters Wednesday after Donald Trump Jr. had called Exotic’s 22-year sentence ‘aggressive’
- The president said he hasn’t watched the show, which has been a hit with Americans stuck at home due to the coronavirus crisis
- The show follows three people who own a collection of tigers and lions, including Exotic, who ran an Oklahoma roadside zoo
- Exotic was convicted in 2019 on murder-for-hire charges over a plot to kill Carole Baskin, an animal rights activist who runs a Florida-based big cat sanctuary
President Trump said he would look at pardoning Joe Exotic, the star of the Netflix series ‘Tiger King’ who is currently serving 22 years in prison for a murder-for-hire plot.
‘I’ll take a look,’ Trump said Wednesday at the White House, telling reporters that he had not seen the show, which has been a ratings hit as Americans stay at home through the coronavirus crisis.
On Monday on SiriusXM, Donald Trump Jr. had called Exotic’s sentence ‘aggressive’ after watching the documentary series in two sittings.
President Trump told reporters Wednesday that he hadn’t seen the Netflix hit ‘Tiger King’ but he’d look into a pardon for the main character, zookeeper Joe Exotic
Joe Exotic is currently serving a 22 year federal prison sentence for a murder-for-hire plot that involved killing an animal activist who ran a Florida-based big cat sanctuary
‘Now, I don’t even know exactly what he was charged with … I watched the show, but it was like, I don’t know exactly what he was guilty of or wasn’t,’ Trump Jr. said. ‘It doesn’t seem like he was totally innocent of anything. But when they’re saying, “We’re putting this guy away for 30 years,” I’m saying that seems sort of aggressive.’
When a reporter brought up his son’s comments, Trump commented, ‘Which son? It must be Don. I had a feeling it was Don,’ the president said.
The show follows three main zoo owners including Exotic and Carole Baskin, the woman who owns Tampa, Florida’s Big Cat Rescue.
It was Baskin that Exotic allegedly was plotting to kill.
She had become a thorn in his side by pushing lawmakers to vote in favor of the Big Cat Public Safety Act, which would make it harder for individuals to own tigers and lions and would put an end to cub-petting, which was a business model used by Exotic.
Donald Trump Jr. (left), photographed with a dead leopard and his brother Eric Trump (right), said on SiriusXM Monday that Exotic’s 22-year sentence seemed ‘aggressive’
In April 2019 Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, was convicted of two counts of murder-for-hire, eight violations of the Lacey Act and on nine violations of the Endangered Species Act.
‘I know nothing about it,’ Trump admitted, asking the reporter who posed the question, The New York Post’s Steven Nelson, to describe Exotic’s crimes.
Trump then said he’d take a look.
Since ‘Tiger King’ became a hit, Exotic and Baskin have become household names.
The show also details how Baskin’s first husband disappeared, a case that has been reopened by authorities since the airing of the episodes.
Exotic, on the show, claimed Baskin fed her husband to a Tiger.