Donald Trump’s coronavirus press conferences have become such a bastion of misinformation and poor leadership that some networks have chosen not to even air the full things anymore. And just when you thought it couldn’t possibly get more frustratingly asinine, in walks New York Post reporter Steven Nelson. At today’s press meeting, Nelson decided it was important to know if the President of the United States was considering pardoning Joe Exotic from Tiger King.
Though patently assinine, the question actually wasn’t entirely out of left field. Donald Trump Jr. recently joked about lobbying to pardon Joe Exotic, saying the docuseries star’s 22-year jail sentence was “too aggressive.” As a reminder, the former GW Zoo operator was found guilty of attempting to hire a hitman to kill his nemesis, Carole Baskin, as well as eight counts of illegal wildlife trade and nine violations of the Endangered Species Act. Joe, meanwhile, holds he was set up and is suing the US government.
“But do you know what the real tragedy of that whole situation is?” Don Jr. said (via the Daily Mail). “None of us knew until now that you could have had a pet tiger for two grand.” Cue eye-roll.
Cut to Wednesday’s coronavirus presser at the White House. When Trump called on Nelson, he dropped some platitudes to the POTUS, remarking that Tiger King’s ratings were only comparable to the televised conferences. He then asked whether Trump had seen the show and would consider pardoning Joe Exotic for his “alleged” crimes. “I know nothing about it,” said Trump, before playfully asking the press corp if anyone else would consider such a pardon.
“I’ll take a look,” he said with a smirk before moving on. As the clip cuts out, you can hear another reporter begin, “I’d like to get back to the coronavirus, if I can…” Look, while we can all appreciate a moment of levity in these strange, strange times, that second guy had the right idea. There are more pressing matters worth holding Trump’s feet to the fire over than whether a clearly guilty reality star is worthy of a pardon.
Watch the exchange below.
A reporter just asked if Trump would pardon Joe Exotic from Tiger King and Trump said, "I will take a look." pic.twitter.com/f0c0R8QmDy
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) April 8, 2020