Quarantined Americans continue to obsess over Tiger King, the Netflix doc series about zookeeper-turned-convict Joe Maldonado-Passage, aka Joe Exotic, who’s currently serving a 22-year jail sentence on a number of convictions, including murder-for-hire. Among Joe’s many, many colorful qualities is that he’s been seeking a pardon from outlandish and possibly dangerous figure: Donald J. Trump. And on Wednesday, someone finally asked the president about a man whose story was too disturbing for Larry David.
Trump is asked about a pardon for Joe Exotic of Tiger King.
Trump: “I know nothing about it…he has 22 for what? What did he do?”
Trump to the reporter asking/explaining: “You think he didn’t do it? Are you on his side? Are you recommending a pardon?”
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) April 8, 2020
As per Deadline, the question was posed during the president’s daily coronavirus press conference by The New York Post’s Steven Nelson, who asked if he’d given a though to pardoning one of the most-watched stars of the quarantine. Alas, Joe may have to wait a bit longer for a pardon.
“I know nothing about it. He has 22 years for what? What did he do?” Trump asked Nelson. When the reporter listed his crimes but added that Joe still claimed innocence, the president replied, “You think he didn’t do it? Are you on his side? Are you recommending a pardon?” Finally he broke out an old Trump chestnut: “I’ll take a look.”
At least there’s one bit of closure here: Donald Trump has not yet watched Tiger King. He’s been trying to belatedly solve a pandemic, so he may not having time for a seven-episode show, though he’d probably admire how Joe underpaid his staff. We’ll see what comes first: a pardon for Joe Exotic or widespread national testing for COVID-19.