Tiger King Joe Exotic unleashes on Trump after being denied pardon

Olivia Lambert
·News Editor
·3-min read

Tiger King Joe Exotic has unleashed after he did not make it onto Donald Trump’s exclusive list of pardons released on his last day in the White House.

Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, is serving 22 years behind bars for animal abuse and murder for hire.

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The former owner of the Great Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in the US was jailed after hiring a hit man to murder Carole Baskin, the CEO of Big Cat Rescue, who was campaigning to have the zoo shut down over animal cruelty fears.

He and his legal team were hopeful he would receive a pardon from Trump, with a limo, and hair and makeup artists on standby near the prison for when the announcement was made.

A prison mugshot of Joe Exotic.
Joe Exotic has unleashed after not receiving a pardon from Donald Trump. Source: AP

However Exotic’s name never made it onto the list of people granted clemency, despite Trump’s son Donald Jr joking last year he would ask Trump to pardon the Tiger King.

But Trump knew nothing of Exotic, who ran as an independent candidate in the 2016 presidential election.

When asked about pardoning Exotic, Trump said: “I know nothing about it. He has 22 years for what?”

After displaying unshakeable confidence he would be pardoned, Exotic has criticised Trump and his son on Twitter for not granting him clemency.

“I was too innocent and too GAY to deserve a pardon from Trump,” a tweet from the official Joe Exotic account said.

“I only mattered to Don Jr when he needed to make a comment about me to boost his social media post.

“Boy we were all stupid to believe he actually stood for equal justice? His corrupt friends all come first.”

Notable absentees from Trump’s list of pardons

Trump pardoned 73 people and commuted the sentences of 70 more on his last day in office, but there have been a number of notable absentees from his list.

The former president pardoned ex-chief strategist Steve Bannon as part of a late flurry of clemency action benefiting nearly 150 people, including rap stars and former members of Congress.

On the list of absentees joining Exotic was Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who was front and centre as the ex-leader cried foul, unproven allegations of electoral fraud after losing the election to Joe Biden.

Donald Trump speaks to reporters.
Donald Trump did not put himself on his list of pardons. Source: Getty Images

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was not pardoned despite ongoing campaigns for his release, and Trump did not pardon himself despite facing a number of charges on federal and state level after leaving the oval office.

There are also allegations of tax evasion which have stuck to Trump since he was elected in 2016.

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