Things took an interesting turn during Wednesday evening's White House Coronavirus Task Force Press Briefing when President Donald Trump was asked about pardoning Joe Exotic, the star of the Netflix hit "Tiger King."
"One of the biggest rating hits of the coronavirus, beside from these briefings, a show on Netflix called 'Tiger King.' And the man who is the start of this is a former zoo owner who's serving a 22-year prison sentence. He's asking you for a pardon, saying he was unfairly convicted," the New York Post's Steven Nelson said. "Your son, yesterday, jokingly said he was going to advocate for it. And so I was wondering if you had seen the show and had any thoughts on pardoning Joe Exotic?"
"Which son?" Trump replied. "Must have been Don."
"It was," Nelson replied.
"I had a feeling it was," Trump said with a smile. "Is that what he said? I don't know. I don't know nothing about it. He has 22 years for what? What'd he do?"
"He allegedly hired someone to murder an animal rights activist," the reporter explained. "But he said he didn't do that."
"Do you think he didn't do it? Are you on his side?" Trump asked.
"Well, I'm a reporter. I can't take sides," Nelson replied with a smile.
"Are you recommending a pardon?" Trump asked.
"I'm not advocating anything," Nelson said.
"As a reporter you're not allowed to do that. You'd be criticized by these–" Trump said pointing to the other reporters in the room. He then turned to CNN's Jim Acosta.
"Would you recommend a pardon?" Trump asked with a smirk.
"I'm not weighing in on this," Acosta replied.
"I don't think you would. I don't think you would," Trump said before moving on to the next question.
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
Although the exchange was hilarious in itself, what made things even funnier were reactions from other members of the White House Press Corps. Clearly, they were taken aback by the reporter's question.
The Tiger King question for Trump, as told by reactions of other reporters. pic.twitter.com/t01V4pHSIm— Caleb Howe (@CalebHowe) April 8, 2020
The Tiger King question for Trump, as told by reactions of other reporters. pic.twitter.com/j1IdUGa9xT— Caleb Howe (@CalebHowe) April 8, 2020
The Tiger King question for Trump, as told by reactions of other reporters. pic.twitter.com/sMFx9CrKox— Caleb Howe (@CalebHowe) April 8, 2020
The truth is this: many, many Americans are out of work. They're struggling to pay their rent, put food on the table and make ends meet. Having an economy shut down, having to isolate from friends and family and worrying about the impact all of this has on our nation – not just health-wise but economic wise – has people stressed out. These kind of lighthearted questions are exactly what America needs at the moment.