President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 panel faces double-edged sword with Alex Jones, Roger Stone Trump goes after Woodward, Costa over China Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves MORE on Wednesday was asked during his daily coronavirus press briefing whether he would consider a pardon for Joe Exotic, whose story was detailed in the hit Netflix series "Tiger King."
New York Post reporter Steven Nelson noted in his question to Trump that the show is "one of the biggest rating hits of the coronavirus, aside from these briefings." Nelson referenced that one of the president's sons had quipped that Exotic deserved a pardon after receiving an "aggressive" prison sentence when he was convicted in a murder-for-hire plot.
"Must be Don. I had a feeling it was Don," Trump responded, referring to Donald Trump Jr.Don TrumpHow Trump uses fundraising emails to remain undisputed leader of the GOP Donald Trump Jr. joins Cameo Book claims Trump family members were 'inappropriately' close with Secret Service agents MORE "I know nothing about it."
"You think he didn’t do it? Are you recommending a pardon?" the president asked, going back and forth with Nelson, who made it clear he was not advocating a position either way.
"I’ll take a look," Trump concluded.
The president then turned to CNN's Jim AcostaJames (Jim) AcostaLofgren: Many Jan. 6 panel witnesses are former Trump officials CNN's Acosta labels Tucker Carlson Jan. 6 series 'Proud Boy porn' Schiff says holding Bannon in criminal contempt 'a way of getting people's attention' MORE, who dryly said he wanted to "get back to the coronavirus if I can."
Nelson's question drew differing opinions among journalists and those tuning in. Some supported the lighthearted inquiry, while others felt it was inappropriate given the nature of the virus.
A Tiger King question at the White House.— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) April 8, 2020
If there's time to ask a Tiger King question, the briefings are either way too long or reporters who ask such questions should be thrown into an alligator pit.— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) April 8, 2020
The reporter asking President Trump about Tiger King and a possible pardon for Joe Exotic is exactly the kind of quarantine content we need— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) April 8, 2020
"Tiger King" has become an internet sensation as Americans stay at home to try to limit transmission of the coronavirus. The main figure in the documentary series, Exotic, was sentenced to 22 years in prison earlier this year for his role in a murder-for-hire plot that targeted Carole Baskin, the founder and CEO of Big Cat Rescue, who is also featured in the Netflix series.
Exotic was also found guilty of numerous wildlife violations.