Joseph Maldonado-Passage is behind bars for trying to hire a hitman to kill Big Cat Rescue's Carole Baskin

By Jen Juneau
April 08, 2020 07:15 PM
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Donald Trump Jr. is fully on board the Tiger King train.

During a Monday interview on SirirusXM’s Jim Norton and Sam Roberts show, the businessman and oldest son of President Donald Trump admitted that he watched the popular Netflix docuseries “in two sittings” after Sam Roberts asked him if he’d seen it.

The series recounts the outlandish story of Joseph Maldonado-Passage (a.k.a. Joe Exotic, a.k.a. the Tiger King) and other eccentric figures in the exotic animal-keeping world.

Maldonado-Passage, 57, is a polarizing animal trainer who is imprisoned on a 22-year federal sentence for trying to hire a hitman to kill a rival animal rights activist, Carole Baskin, as well as for other crimes. He said he was innocent.

“I feel like you, Don Jr., can go in, make a meeting with your dad and go, ‘Look, I know we’re all dealing with [coronavirus pandemic] 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,’ ” Roberts told his guest.

“I don’t even know exactly what he was charged with,” said Don Jr., 42. “I watched the show but 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.’ ”

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Donald Trump Jr. (left) and Joe Exotic
| Credit: Theo Wargo/Getty; Joe Exotic TV/YouTube

Don Jr. previously shared a meme late last month showing his dad’s face superimposed on Maldonado-Passage’s head in a mugshot photo.

“Hahahahaha I love the internet,” Don Jr. wrote with the picture, “I heard about this guy.”

After he shared the morphed image of his dad, 73, Don Jr. posted another meme the following day featuring former Vice President Joe Biden as Exotic instead, this time cuddled up to a tiger.

“Joe Exotic getting a quick sniff!” Don Jr. posted along with laughing emojis, apparently referencing stories from women of inappropriate touching the Democratic presidential nominee faced last year when he announced his 2020 campaign.

RELATED VIDEO: Inside Tiger King Joe Exotic’s Obsession with Carole Baskin: “It’s the Worst Kind of Love Story”

Earlier this month, Maldonado-Passage was transferred to Fort Worth FMC, a medical center at a prison in Fort Worth, Texas, amid fears of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

His placement came after his husband, Dillon Passage, shared on the SiriusXM Radio Andy show that the former Oklahoma zoo keeper had been placed “on a COVID-19 isolation” behind bars, referring to the novel coronavirus, which is highly infectious.

“We speak like three to five times every day, but since he’s been moved to this new facility, they are putting him on a COVID-19 isolation because of the previous jail he was at, there were cases,” Dillon said to Andy Cohen about Maldonado-Passage. “I’ve yet to speak to him since he moved.”