Presidential candidate Joe Exotic says he will not pardon Trump if elected: ‘He didn’t pardon me so I won’t pardon him’
Sky Palma June 13, 2023
Former zoo owner and documentary film star Joe Exotic, who is currently serving a 21-year prison term for animal abuse and attempted murder, really hoped for a pardon from former President Donald Trump.
In a post to his Twitter account In January of 2021, Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, aka the “Tiger King,” lamented Trump’s failure to grant him a pardon, saying that he was passed over for being “too gay.”
“I was too innocent and too GAY to deserve a Pardon from Trump,” he wrote. “I only mattered to Don Jr. when he needed to make a comment about me to boost his social media post. Boy were we all stupid to believe he actually stood for Equal Justice?”
“His corrupt friends all come first,” he added.
Exotic’s legal team and supporters were so confident that Trump would pardon him that they reportedly had a limousine parked near the prison ready to whisk him away once the pardon was announced.
In March, Exotic announced that he is running for president as a Democrat.
“Thank you for your interest in my Campaign. Yes, I know I am in Federal Prison and you might think this is a joke but it’s not. It is my Constitutional right to do this even from here,” he wrote on his campaign website. “I have been put here only because of the corruption in the Department of Justice, three felons that were told how to life under oath to further this agenda, two corrupt Assistant U.S. Attorneys, two corrupt FBI Agents, and one corrupt Federal Wildlife Agent.”
This Monday, he made one policy very clear — if he’s elected president, he will not be pardoning Trump if he’s convicted.
Exotic responded to a tweet from fellow 2024 candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, who challenged every presidential candidate in the race to commit to pardoning Trump if they’re elected.
But the Tiger King was having none of it.
“I would pardon him but after he spent at least 30 days in the same solitary confignment (sic) as any of the rest of us so he knows just how bad it sucks to be innocent and stuck in this fucked up system,” he tweeted in reply to Ramaswamy. “He didn’t pardon me so he is not getting a pardon on day one out of me. Equal Justice is Equal Justice.”
I would pardon him but after he spent at least 30 days in the same solitary confignment as any of the rest of us so he knows just how bad it sucks to be innocent and stuck in this fucked up system. He didn't pardon me so he is not getting a pardon on day one out of me. Equal… pic.twitter.com/IkUJFUKKrc— Joe Exotic (@joe_exotic) June 13, 2023
Exotic became famous after he was featured in Netflix’s 2020 true-crime documentary Tiger King, which told the story of his rivalry with wildlife activist Carol Baskin.
In 2019, he was found guilty on two counts of hiring hitmen to murder Baskin, along with eight counts of forging wildlife records, and nine more counts for killing five tigers and selling tigers across state lines.