As President Donald Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore for their historic summit to discuss nuclear weapons, one of their few common bonds was delivering an emotional, head-scratching interview on CNN.
NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman, who arrived in Singapore ahead of the meeting,shared his feelings with news anchor Chris Cuomo after the meeting between Trump and Kim got underway.
“It’s a great day. I am here to see it. I’m so happy,” Rodman said after breaking down talking about death threats he received in the United States due to his conversations with Kim, someone Rodman has considered a friend.
“I said to everybody, the door will open,” Rodman said, his voice cracking with emotion. “It’s amazing, it’s amazing, it’s amazing, when I said those things, when I went back home, I got so many death threats, and I believed in North Korea, and I couldn’t go home, I couldn’t even go home, I had to hide out for 30 days, but I kept my head high, and I knew things were going to change.
I knew it. I was the only one.”
"Today is a great day," former NBA star Dennis Rodman says in an emotional interview in which he describes his relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un https://t.co/atvQwe7jo0 pic.twitter.com/dEgQf3kBtE— CNN (@CNN) June 12, 2018
The tone became lighter when Rodman, who was wearing black sunglasses, a red Make America Great Again hat and a black shirt advertising PotCoin.com — a digital currency for marijuana that sponsored Rodman's trip — described Kim as a “big kid, even though he’s small” and someone who “loves to have a good time.”
“This guy wants to be around the world. He wants to come to America. He wants to enjoy his life. He wants his people to enjoy their life,” Rodman said.
Rodman, who Trump said last week had not been invited to the summit, has been public about several trips he's made to North Korea to meet with Kim. They share a love of basketball.
But Rodman and his agent did say the five-time NBA champion was contacted, and thanked, by the White House.
WH Press Secretary Sarah Sanders called Dennis Rodman to thank him for his effort in Singapore and his support of President Trump, according to Rodman’s agent, Darren Prince.— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 12, 2018
In 2017, his visit coincided with the release of American Otto Warmbier — a college student from Ohio who was arrested for theft and sentenced to 15 years in prison. Rodman suggested he played a role in the release. Warmbier died less than a week later.
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TEGNA contributed to this report.
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