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Dennis Rodman Travels to Singapore for Trump-Kim Summit and Breaks Down in Tears
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12 Jun 2018 04:52 PM EST

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Dennis Rodman (Image source: Screenshot)

 

In the last five years we've definitely seen different sides to Dennis Rodman than we were used to. The guy known on the basketball court as "The Worm," who once did publicity in a bridal gown, traveled to North Korea in 2013 and befriended Kim Jong Un, and people thought he was nuts.

 

As a two-time contestant on "Celebrity Apprentice," it now puts him in a unique position as being the only person to know both men at this Singapore summit, other than possibly Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Talking about it on CNN while in Singapore, Rodman broke down in tears. 

Rodman played in the NBA for the Detroit Pistons, San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, and Dallas Mavericks. When his basketball career was over, he then became a professional wrestler for a few years. He went on "Celebrity Apprentice," but with known substance abuse problems, Trump fired him so that he could go get some help.

 

He visited North Korea in 2013 initially to bring basketball to North Korea and befriended Kim, whom he calls "the Marshall" as well as a "friend for life." He's been back to visit him a few more times through the years. "Once I got familiar with the culture and situation, I felt like I was at home," he said of his time there. 

Rodman traveled to Singapore, not to be a part of the negotiations, but perhaps to be there to see his two friends make peace. While there he was interviewed by Chris Cuomo and was overcome with emotion, wiping away his tears at one point.

 

He wore a Trump campaign "Make America Great Again" hat as well as a t-shirt celebrating the summit that advertised his sponsor, Potcoin, a marijuana cryptocurrency. 

"It's a great day. I am here to see it. I'm so happy," he told Cuomo.

 

"I'm not in this for no money. I never started it for no money," he promised Cuomo. "This is not about Dennis Rodman being the greatest person in the world, bringing the countries together," he promised 

"I think the fact that Trump would understand that the people of North Korea have a heart, they have soul, charisma, and they love each other," he pointed out.

 

He also didn't want to get into the politics behind the two countries meeting. "I don't want to see that," he explained. "I want to see it go away. ... I want to see us get along. Have a handshake, have a smile, have a glass of iced tea. I don't need to worry about the war stuff, I don't know anything about that." 

"Everything else should be in Donald Trump's hands and people in the White House's hands. I'm out of it. I'm so happy just to be here, man, and see everyone in the world get emotional like I did. Donald Trump should take a lot of credit because he went out of the box and made this happen."

 

It was while discussing how he was treated after his first trip to North Korea that made Rodman get emotional and tear up. "When I got home, I got so many death threats. I was sitting up protecting everything," he cried, while mentioning he couldn't even go home because of the drama surrounding him. 

"But I kept my head up high, brother. I knew things were gonna change. I was the only one," he told Cuomo.

 

He tried at that point to bring North Korea and the U.S. together but says he didn't receive a favorable response from former President Barack Obama. "And Obama did not give me the time of day," he insisted. 

Rodman was asked if the White House had been in contact with him, and he replied that Trump's secretary called him and told him, "Donald Trump is so proud of you; he says thank you."

 

Trump didn't always feel that way. In 2014, before he ventured into politics, Rodman had suggested that he and Trump could travel to North Korea together.  

"Dennis Rodman was either drunk or on drugs (delusional) when he said I wanted to go to North Korea with him. Glad I fired him on Apprentice!" he tweeted. "Crazy Dennis Rodman is saying I wanted to go to North Korea with him. Never discussed, no interest, last place on Earth I want to go to," read another tweet.

 

The basketball player presented quite a different image of Kim than what Americans think of him. He said he was "like a big kid" who "loves to have a good time." He mentioned the dictator was in Singapore "taking selfies and all that." He told Cuomo, "This guy wants to be around the world; he wants to go to America." 

"If Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump understand and have a smooth, comfortable relationship, smile, laugh, joke," he said of a possible relationship between the two, "it ain't gotta be war. It's gotta be something everyone is comfortable with."

 

"Let's just hope for the best. We don't need a miracle, we just need the doors to be open so we can start fresh and make this place a better world, baby, that's it," Rodman concluded.

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