Dennis Rodman gave an emotional interview on CNN moments after President Trump and Kim Jong Un met for the first time at their historic summit in Singapore.
During the interview, Rodman denounced the Obama Administration for disregarding his pleas to work with North Korea and broke down as he recounted his own experiences coming back to the U.S. after meeting Kim Jong Un.
Rodman, an NBA hall of famer, has traveled to North Korea and personally met with Kim Jong Un a number of times, ultimately forming an unlikely friendship with the recluse dictator who is known to be a huge NBA fan.
“I’ve told people about Kim Jong Un. He’s about the 21st Century. He’s trying to progress his country,” Rodman claimed during the interview.
“And Donald Trump is going to a great job – he’s tried to reach out and make sure our hands – America’s – our hands are always open,” Rodman continued.
Dennis Rodman's advice to US President Trump: Go into the meeting with Kim Jong Un with your “heart on the table,” and focus on the future https://t.co/0A3J2NkWqy pic.twitter.com/HFFL5w0E17
— CNN (@CNN) June 12, 2018
On his numerous trips to North Korea and meetings with Kim Jong Un, Rodman claims that the leader has treated him well.
“And now we have really put ourself on the line to reach out to North Korea,” Rodman said. “They have been so gracious to me and my family and the United States. So let’s make this happen.”
Rodman then got emotional as he recalled how he felt returning to the United States following his North Korea trips.
He claims to have tried to encourage Obama to meet with Kim, and that he also received death threats on his return home.
Dennis Rodman gets emotional as he describes what it was like when he visited North Korea and returned home: "Today's a great day for everybody." pic.twitter.com/jhXWfo2Y8M
— Axios (@axios) June 12, 2018
“Obama didn’t even give me the time of day. I asked him. I said, ‘I have something to say from North Korea.’ He just brushed me off,” Rodman said.
Rodman, a staunch proponent of North Korea, said that his return trips were an effort to keep the connection alive.
“I still kept going back. I showed my loyalty and my [trustworthiness] to this country. And I said to everybody, ‘the door will open,'” Rodman said.
Rodman claims his efforts were met with backlash rather than praise.
“When I returned home, I got so many death threats. I was sitting there protecting everything. And I believed in North Korea. And when I went home, I couldn’t even go home. I had to hide out for 30 days,” Rodman said.
Rodman has been a fixture in North Korea-U.S. relations for the last several years, and the unorthodox makeshift diplomacy he has been a part of has been met with criticism.
His presence in Singapore for the Trump-Kim summit has also been met with internet intrigue, particularly on social media.
Twitter users jokingly began calling out Rodman’s former NBA teammates to embark on their own diplomatic tours.
Scottie Pippen in Syria right now
— Downtown Josh Brown (@ReformedBroker) June 12, 2018