Netflix’s Tiger King star Joe Exotic tried to see then-candidate Donald Trump at a campaign rally outside Oklahoma City in 2016, but he says he never got the chance because he was sent packing after the Secret Service threw him out.
As TMZ reported, Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, paid $1,000 to attend a meet-and-greet at the rally with Trump as he was running for president. At the time, the exotic animal zoo owner was also making a bid for the Oval Office. But, as he says, he never got the chance to meet with Trump.
Exotic was at a private home where the event was being held, and while he was able to get in initially, after he left, Secret Service told him that he couldn’t re-enter.
“I paid a thousand bucks to get in that place, and I got in and I called my driver to see where the car was parked because it was still an hour until Mr. Trump was supposed to arrive,” he said.
He says that he asked the security if he could leave and was told that was fine, but when he returned after smoking a cigarette, he was turned away.
“I made it through the second security stop and Secret Service threw me out,” he said. “They didn’t give me an excuse.”
He claims that the Secret Service told him that once you leave you can’t return and refused to return his money. Exotic then went on a rant about the modern political system, saying that the country is about “money” and that wealthy people get better access to politicians.
Sources who spoke to TMZ claim that Exotic wasn’t turned away because attendees weren’t allowed to return inside but because he was acting strange and security was concerned. The source says that Exotic was acting “starstruck” and agents were “taken aback.”
As The Inquisitr previously reported, the eccentric reality star’s legal team is headed to Washington D.C. and is expected to try to convince Trump to pardon Exotic. The team is traveling via bus emblazoned with the words “President Trump please free Joe Exotic” on the side.
Currently, Exotic is behind bars serving a 22-year sentence for attempting to hire someone to kill his rival, Carole Baskin, and for federal crimes related to keeping animals. Exotic maintains his innocence.
Trump has said that he is willing to “take a look” into Exotic’s plea. The Tiger King star’s team is expected to make their case to the president today.
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