Retired NBA legend Dennis Rodman broke down in tears during a televised interview saying President Donald Trump was ‘proud of him’ for his role in helping to enable the historic meeting with North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un in Singapore on Monday.
While wearing a red ‘Make America Great Again’ hat, Rodman became emotional during an interview with CNN.
‘In my heart and soul, when I first went to North Korea, I was very honored to be selected to go there,’ Rodman told CNN.
‘Once I went to North Korea I didn’t really understand what the whole situation was as far as being over there.
Speaking with CNN’s @chriscuomo while wearing a Make America Great Again hat, former NBA star @dennisrodman describes his relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his hopes for the country https//t.co/oaMBT2GQ3n pic.twitter.com/YjNf7ZI9Ky
Retired NBA legend Dennis Rodman broke down in tears during a televised interview saying President Donald Trump was ‘proud of him’ for his role in helping to enable the historic meeting with North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un in Singapore on Monday
While wearing a red ‘Make America Great Again’ hat, Rodman became emotional during an interview with CNN
‘In my heart and soul, when I first went to North Korea, I was very honored to be selected to go there,’ Rodman told CNN
‘When I met Kim Jong-un, I didn’t know what to expect…but once I got to know the culture over there I felt at home.’
In the bizarre interview, Rodman lashed out at former President Barack Obama.
‘It’s a great day. I am here to see it. I’m so happy,’ the former star power forward said.
‘And Obama did not give me the time of day.’
The former basketball star was referring to his efforts to act as a mediator between Kim and the Obama administration, which rebuffed him.
Rodman began crying when he said that he received death threats for meeting Kim in North Korea.
‘I had to hide out, I couldn’t even go home,’ Rodman said.
‘I took all those bullets. Everyone came at me and I’m still standing.’
Rodman said people ridiculed him when he met with Kim and predicted that he would be an effective peacemaker.
He said that he initially thought he was going to North Korea to play a charity basketball game, but then realized it was ‘so much more’.
‘I fell in love with the country,’ Rodman said.
Trump is seen above shaking hands with Kim during their summit meeting in Singapore on Monday
Trump and Kim are seen above from the balcony of the Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island in Singapore
‘The people of North Korea have a heart, have soul, charisma, and they love each other.’
Rodman said he was able to build a relationship with Kim after the Hall of Fame NBA player kept a promise to bring a professional basketball team to Pyongyang in an exhibition game for the country’s ruler.
He said Kim was ‘not a dumb man’ and that he wanted to travel the world and visit the United States.
‘This guy wants to be around the world,’ he said.
‘He wants to come to America and enjoy his life. He wants his people to enjoy his life.’
Rodman, who knows both Kim and Trump, said he was hopeful the summit would lead to a new era of peace between the two countries.
‘We have really put ourselves on the line to reach out to North Korea and they have been so gracious to me, my family and the United States. So let’s make this happen. If Trump can pull this off, more power to him,’ Rodman said on CNN.
Kim understands ‘bits and pieces of English,’ according to Rodman, who described the North Korean ruler as ‘more like a big kid even though he is small.’
Rodman arrived in Singapore late Monday night, hours before Trump met Kim for the first time.
Rodman emerged from the baggage claim area at Changi airport around midnight and told reporters he wasn’t sure if he would meet Kim.
Last week the prolific rebounder, who has traveled to North Korea at least five times, said he would ‘give whatever support is needed’ to his ‘friends’ – meaning both Trump and Kim.
White House officials have said Rodman will play no official role in the diplomatic negotiations. Trump said last week that Rodman had not been invited to the summit.
Rodman arrived in Singapore just after midnight local time, reaping the publicity associated with being one of few westerners to spend time with KimJong-un; the North Korean despot is meeting with President Donald Trump on Tuesday for nuclear talks
Rodman has been to Pyongyang at least five times, and once sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to the brutal dictator and presented him with a copy of Trump’s book ‘The Art of the Deal’
Kim, pictured walking to the Jubilee bridge at the Esplanade in Singapore on Monday, aims to become a nuclear power but has incurred the sting of near-global economic sanctions in the process
Trump has promised that the U.S. will keep up his ‘maximum pressure’ campaign against Kim until he completely abandons his nuclear weapons program
He is one of the few westerners to have met the North Korean leader on visits to the capital city Pyongyang.
‘Thanks to my loyal sponsors from @potcoin and my team at @Prince_Mrketing, I will be flying to Singapore for the historical Summit,’ the former Chicago Bulls forward tweeted late Friday.
PotCoin is a cryptocurrency invented to support the cannabis trade.
Trump told reporters Thursday that he wasn’t aware the 6-foot-7 former NBC star would be in the neighborhood for the nuclear disarmament summit.
‘Dennis Rodman? No. I didn’t know about Dennis,’ he said in the Oval Office.
‘He was not invited, but he’s a nice guy. I like him,’ Trump added.
Rodman has had actual face-time with Kim in the past, but the White House doesn’t wnat him underfoot to complicate Tuesday’s delicate negotiations
Rodman attracted a gaggle of photographers upon his arrival at the baggage carousel at Singapore’s Changi Airport
As he left the White House for Canada on Friday morning, the president seemed more interested in praising Rodman’s athletic talents than in drafting him into the State Department.
‘When you think Dennis was a great rebounder and he wasn’t relatively speaking that tall. So that tells you, you know – there’s a rebounding, there’s a genius for that. Dennis Rodman was a great rebounder,’ Trump said.
Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley was less diplomatic, making it clear in a Fox News Channel interview a day earlier that Trump planned to manage just fine without the tattooed and lip-ringed athlete hanging around.
‘We have a schedule set of what we’d like to see accomplished, and what we want is denuclearization of the peninsula,’ Gidley said on the ‘Fox & Friends’ program. ‘That’s been what the president has been talking about – verifiable, irreversible denuclearization.’
‘I don’t know what part the best rebounder in basketball has to play in that.’
The unlikeliest diplomat Rodman arrived in Singapore wearing a t-shirt advertising PotCoin, a cryptocurrency developed to give legal marijuana dealers a way to store their profits despite not having access to U.S. banks
Kim and Rodman have famously built a bizarre friendship, and the former basketball player brought the crutal despot a copy of ‘The Art of the Deal’ for his birthday last year.
That trip was also sponsored by PotCoin.
In 2013 the two-time ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ contestant declared Kim was was his ‘friend for life.’ That came after three visits to Pyongyang that year, including one organized by the Harlem Globetrotters.
Rodman has previously claimed he was partly responsible for easing the tension between Trump and the Kim regime.
The athlete told TMZ in April that Kim has had ‘a change of heart’ about his feelings toward Trump and the U.S.
‘I don’t want to sit here and say, I did this and I did that. That’s not my intention,’ Rodman said, adding that his intention was to go to the North and be an ambassador.
Rodman and Trump were photographed together at Trump Tower in 2009, when the NBA star appeared on ‘Celebrity Apprentice’
Rodman once sang Happy Birthday to the vicious despot and brought him a copy of Trump’s book ‘The Art of the Deal’ as a present
North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and President Donald Trump are gearing up for an unprecedented summit in an attempt to address the last festering legacy of the Cold War, with the US President calling it a ‘one time shot’ at peace – and Rodman wants a piece of the historic legacy
In March, Rodman tweeted a photoshopped picture of his friend Kim, wearing a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat.
‘Hoping for this after my two friends and leaders meet next month #Peace #Love #NotWar #Diplomacy,’ Rodman wrote.
In a December 2017 interview with Stephen Colbert, Rodman offered to work as an envoy to North Korea.
‘I’m close enough to him to the fact that he can discuss anything with me,’ he said.
‘But the deal is, I don’t discuss politics because that’s not my job. My job is to be a human being, to try and connect us with him.’
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