Donald Trump Jr. said he watched the Netflix documentary “Tiger King” in only two sittings and joked that he could lobby for his father to pardon Joe Exotic simply to watch the mainstream media’s reaction.
“It’s pretty amazing,” Trump Jr. said of the seven-part documentary series that has captivated America since it was released in March.
The president’s oldest son was asked about Joseph Maldonado-Passage -- better known a Joe Exotic -- on Monday during an appearance on SiriusXM’s “Jim Norton and Sam Roberts” radio show.
“He’s asking for a presidential pardon,” Roberts said.
Trump Jr. asked, “I have heard that, is that true? You guys really want it to be true, don’t you?”
Norton and Roberts said that it “sounds true” before telling Trump Jr. how he could make it happen.
Roberts told him directly, “I feel you, Don, Jr., can go in, make a meeting with your dad and go, 'Look, I know we’re all dealing with corona and there’s a lot going on right now, but at the same time, maybe a presidential pardon for poor Joe Exotic who’s in there?‘”
“Maybe not right now, but I can generally be for this just for the meme,” Trump Jr. said. “And just for frankly watching the media reaction to this thing. It would be pretty amazing to ultimately see that.”
Maldonado-Passage was found guilty in 2019 of paying a hitman $3,000 to kill animal rights activist Carole Baskin, who is also a large-cat lover and operates Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Fla. (The hitman-for-hire did not carry out the act.)
Trump Jr. then got a little more serious and said he isn’t even sure what Joe Exotic was guilty of.
“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. 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,” Trump Jr. said.
Trump then explained that some prisons are releasing criminals because of coronavirus concerns and admitted that “Tiger King” makes it appear that Baskin possibly killed her first husband. But the president’s son had another takeaway from the documentary.
“You know what the real tragedy is right now from that whole show? None of us knew that you could have had a pet tiger for like two grand,” Trump Jr. said.
A jury also convicted Maldonado-Passage of killing five tigers in order to make room for more big cats in his zoo.
"Tiger King" can be streamed now on Netflix.
Fox News’ Julius Young and Nate Day contributed to this report.