In audio obtained by TMZ ... The "Tiger King" star says, "The whole Brittney Griner and Trevor Reed prisoner swap is a slap in every American's face that is wrongfully detained in the American Federal Prison System, including myself."
He goes on to plead his case to the Prez, saying he's innocent of any crimes and calling out his ex-costar Carole Baskin in the process.
Quite frankly, Joe's drawing a ridiculous parallel here, between Brittney and himself. While she was imprisoned as Vladimir Putin's political pawn, Joe was tried and convicted for hiring a hitman, and various crimes tied to the treatment of animals at his infamous wildlife park.
After she spent nearly 10 months incarcerated, U.S. officials finally struck a deal this week -- Russia agreed to free Brittney in exchange for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout ... AKA the "Merchant of Death."
Joe is serving a 21-year sentence, but insists he's innocent -- jury be damned -- and totally deserving of freedom ... something he's been pushing for since Donald Trump was in the White House.
He says, "a dangerous man was released for Brittney Griner to be free. It's time Joe Exotic gets to go home for Christmas to be home with [boyfriend] Seth and his son for the first time in 5 Christmases."