Martin Shkreli, once dubbed "the most hated man in America," gained notoriety for hiking the price of a life-saving drug, Daraprim, by 5,000%, a move that led to significant public backlash and a sentence of seven years in prison (Shkreli was released in May in 2022, after having served roughly five years of his original sentence).
In a candid conversation with Tucker Carlson, Shkreli suggests a connection between his and former President Trump's legal troubles, implying a systemic bias against certain individuals:
"It doesn't make a difference whether you're guilty or not."
Reflecting on his trial and the media's portrayal of legal proceedings, the former 'pharma bro' explains his skepticism towards the fairness of the justice system, emphasizing:
"it's a foregone conclusion."
Specifically, he believes he was treated unfairly, claiming his rise to infamy was accelerated after he made a "joke" about Hillary Clinton being a "lizard person", which then led campaign to use him as a symbol of corporate greed.
“Well, you know, I’d take it a few months before that where I was on bail and happy go lucky. I was actually getting into the software business at the time...
I was expecting to go to prison, but I didn’t expect to go for four years and I made a joke on social media about Hillary Clinton,” Shkreli stated.
Things got a little out of hand, Shkreli explains, after he posted on Facebook that he would pay for a strand of Clinton's hair, which the judge called “a solicitation to assault in exchange for money.”
“And all of a sudden I found myself in front of a judge and they’re throwing me in prison. And yeah, I said something stupid – snide. It was joke – you know as a comedian, not all your jokes land. And I – actually one of the reasons I have a social media following is, I think some people find my stuff funny.
And you know, I tried to poke fun at power and authority and you know all kinds of people who need to be taken down a peg...
...and, you know, this joke fell flat.
It was some silly joke about Hillary Clinton’s DNA, and it got taken the wrong way by actually a New Yorker reporter – kind of flagged it.”
Shkreli explains his stance on drug pricing is grounded in the economics of pharmaceuticals for rare diseases, arguing that high prices are often necessary to sustain a company in such niche markets.
He reiterates, "to this day I never made a dollar from Daraprim," underscoring his belief that the outrage over his actions was misplaced.
Finally, Shkreli's highlights his broader stance of personal freedoms versus state intervention, asserting his defiant attitude towards governmental authority:
"I'm not going to bow down to the government."
Watch the full interview below:
(3:24) Most Hated Man in America
(7:20) Hillary Clinton
(9:57) @wagieeacc Dragged Before Congress
(28:17) The Hillary Joke
(32:33) Life in Prison
(36:09) Sam Bankman-Fried
(44:35) Trump & Prison
(47:38) More Sam Bankman-Fried
Ep. 36 What happens when you give Hillary Clinton the finger? Ask Martin Shkreli. He did four and a half years in prison. That may be why Sam Bankman-Fried just asked his advice on doing time. pic.twitter.com/vMGiqDk4tR— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) November 6, 2023