Donald Trump responds to calls for Joe Exotic pardon

Exotic is at the centre of Netflix's wildly popular Tiger King series.

Donald Trump has responded to calls for a pardon for Joe Exotic, the colourful zoo owner at the centre of Netflix’s breakout hit Tiger King.

Exotic – whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage – is a mulleted, gun-toting polygamist and country-western singer who bred exotic animals while running an Oklahoma zoo.

He is serving 22 years in prison for plotting to have an animal rights activist murdered.

However, fans of documentary series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem And Madness believe he is innocent and Donald Trump Jr, the president’s son, joked he should be pardoned.

Mr Trump was asked about Exotic’s case during a press conference on Wednesday.

“I know nothing about it,” a smiling Mr Trump replied. “He has 22 years for what – what did he do?”

Mr Trump, who has shown he is not afraid to wield executive privilege, asked the reporters if they would “recommend a pardon” and jokingly added: “I’ll take a look.”

President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump has responded to calls for a pardon for Joe Exotic (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Exotic, 57, was last year convicted of 17 federal charges of animal abuse and plotting to have animal rights activist Carole Baskin murdered.

Baskin and Exotic were locked in a long-running feud over the latter’s alleged mistreatment of animals.

Fans of the series have also backed Exotic’s allegation that Baskin murdered her husband and fed him to tigers, an accusation she dismisses as ridiculous.

Exotic has twice unsuccessfully run for public office, with failed attempts at the White House in 2016 and for Governor of Oklahoma in 2018.

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