Joe Exotic from ‘Tiger King’ is reportedly “very close” to being pardoned by Trump

The perfect end to 2020 or the beginning of an endless feedback loop? According to reports, ex-prez Donald Trump looks set to pardon Joe Exotic.

Whilst the idea of Donald Trump pardoning Joe Exotic once felt like nothing more than a far-fetched conspiracy, as with many elements of Trump’s presidency, it seems fantasy may just become reality.

Just last week, the president retweeted a video in which Republican politician Matt Gaetz called for Trump to pardon both himself and Joe Exotic, and now, according to the latter’s lawyers, they believe the decision could be “very, very close”. 

joe exotic donald trump

As reported by ABC News, Donald Trump’s legal team are currently vetting a number of pardon requests, one of which belongs to none other than Tiger King star Joe Exotic (real name Joseph Maldano-Passage).

“We are waiting on the pen to hit the paper, we think we are very, very close,” Exotic’s attorney Eric Love described, whilst a Trump source revealed that they had indeed been in contact: “You wouldn’t believe the amount of calls, some insane, we’ve gotten.”

Currently serving a 22-year sentence for attempting a murder-for-hire plot against nemesis Carol Baskin, Joe Exotic has been incarcerated at the Federal Medical Center Fort Worth in Texas since contracting coronavirus earlier this year.

Exotic has been taking to Instagram (through his lawyers) to provide updates on his situation, and in one of his latest posts he claims that if he were to be pardoned, he would put Carole Baskin and “everyone connected to that zoo and that industry behind me”. 

“I am taking the higher road and will work on forgiving them,” he described. “They’ve got a much bigger Man and karma to deal with one day than me and God knows everything.”

He continued on to say that he would “spend every minute” of his life “making this up to my husband, using my platform to help sick children around the world, the homeless and fighting for change in this justice system.”  

A noble cause indeed.


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Aside from Exotic, there are claims that Trump could preemptively pardon his entire family, as well as close allies, like Rudy Guiliani – and of course, himself. But is it likely? Only time will tell.