Rod­man gets emo­tional over N. Korea talks

Baltimore Sun - - NATION & WORLD - By Dan Gel­ston, Jill Colvin and Hyung-jin Kim

SIN­GA­PORE — Former NBA star Den­nis Rod­man openly wept on tele­vi­sion in a live in­ter­view from Sin­ga­pore on Tues­day as Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un met for the first time. He told The As­so­ci­ated Press that he hopes to soon visit the White House.

Rod­man is one of the few West­ern­ers to have spent time with Kim dur­ing mul­ti­ple vis­its to Py­ongyang. The two struck up an un­likely friendship over their shared love of bas­ket­ball. Rod­man also goes back years with Trump and ap­peared on his “Celebrity Ap­pren­tice” show.

In an emo­tional and some­times hard-to-fol­low in­ter­view with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, Rod­man, wear­ing sun­glasses and a “Make Amer­ica Great Again” hat, said he had re­ceived a call from the White House ahead of Trump’s historic meet­ing with Kim — the first be­tween a sit­ting pres­i­dent and a North Korean leader.

Rod­man later told the AP in a phone in­ter­view that the call had come from White House press sec­re­tary Sarah Huck­abee San­ders. “She sent her best wishes and said that Don­ald Trump is re­ally proud of you. He’s happy you’re having some type of part of this whole sit­u­a­tion,” Rod­man re­called her say­ing. “He’s very happy to carry out the things I’ve been say­ing.”

San­ders did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to ques­tions about the call.

Rod­man sug­gested he helped lay at least the ground­work for the sum­mit, jok­ing to the AP that he “should be push­ing for the No­bel Peace Prize. At least give me a piece of it, some­thing like that. An honor­able mention.”

In his CNN in­ter­view, Rod­man grew emo­tional as he re­called former Pres­i­dent Barack Obama fail­ing to take him se­ri­ously when he re­turned from Py­ong- Den­nis Rod­man speaks to re­porters in Sin­ga­pore. He sug­gested he helped lay at least the sum­mit’s ground­work. yang with a mes­sage from Kim after one of his trips. Rod­man said Obama brushed him off and that he re­ceived death threats and went into hid­ing as a re­sult.

TOM WHITE/EPA

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