"My pardon application was filed under President Obama," Kerik told FOX 5 NY morning program, 'Good Day New York.' "I had no idea it was coming."
On Tuesday, Trump announced that that he had granted Kerik a pardon for his corruption and tax fraud conviction in 2009. He also said he had commuted the sentence of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich following eight years in prison. Along with the high profile cases, Trump pardoned or commuted the sentences of seven others including four women who were serving time for drug-related offenses.
"People have to give the president credit for this criminal justice. He's looking at people doing life sentences for first-time drug offenses. It's completely absurd that they're still there. He's going through those. This is something presidents should have done before. They did not and I give him credit for what he's done," said Kerik.
He was the first NYPD Commissioner in more than 100 years to be found guilty of corruption. He served three years of a four -year sentence and was freed in 2013.
Now, he's feeling 'numb.'
"I got a phone call yesterday morning at 11:57 and the President was on the line. He told me that as we were speaking he was signing it. I couldn't be more pleased, more happy. What many people don't understand about a conviction is that you lose many of your civil and constitutional rights, eternally, until the day you die.
You can pay your price to society a hundred times over but that conviction stays with you forever. The punishment doesn't fit the crime. For me, it's about being restored as an American citizen as whole. Period. Nobody understands that," said Kerik.