Dennis Rodman spoke to “Good Morning America” on Friday and took credit for the release of Otto Warmbier from North Korea before breaking down in an emotional scene.
The former NBA star has been the subject of criticism for hobnobbing with North Korean’s ruthless dictator Kim Jong-un. Rodman has remained the despot’s pal even while American Otto Warmbier was held up in a North Korean prison for allegedly stealing a propaganda poster.
Warmbier was recently released back to the U.S. in a vegetative state, having suffered brutal treatment under the North Korean regime. But at least, he was home and Warmbier’s father has thanked Donald Trump for playing a large part in reuniting him with his son before he died in a coma on American soil.
But, Rodman thinks he deserves some credit.
“I know being there had something to do with it,” Rodman’s agent Chris Volo told former NFL star Michael Strahan.
“When I was organizing the trip, and I meet with the delegates here, I addressed Otto Warmbier and I said to them we would need some type of good faith if we are ever going to do any type of future sports relations,” Volo added.
“I asked on behalf of Dennis for his release three times. They said they understood, that was all that was said in that meeting,” he said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that these trips, and me asking on his behalf, had a lot to do with it.”
Warmbier’s father previously said that Rodman “had nothing to do with Otto.” And called the NBA star’s stunt “a diversion.”
“I was just so happy to see the kid released,” Rodman said. “We jumped up and down.”
Strahan, then asked Rodman if part of his motivation for visiting the rogue state was for publicity and television exposure.
“I am too damn famous for this,” Rodman said. “I’m not trying to sound cocky, but my God. What am I getting out of this? I’m going over there out of the kindness of my heart trying to help. And next thing you know, you come back. Wow. What did I do that’s so bad?”
The former Chicago Bulls star also begged President Donald Trump to reach out to his North Korean pal to bring about communication between the two nations.
“Donald, come talk to me. Let’s try to work this out,” he said. “Because you know what? I get nothing out of this. The only thing I get is out of pride for my country, America. I love America,” Rodman said. “But I want these two sides to get together and try to figure something out. Some dialogue. That’s it.”
Strahan pressed, asking Rodman, who was beginning to get extremely emotional, if he thought making the trips he has to North Korea were “worth it.”
“Absolutely,” Rodman’s agent said, and the basketball star agreed.
Rodman spoke of his “friendship” with the 33-year-old dictator and how happy everyone in the nation is.
“People don’t see the good side about that country. People don’t see him as a friendly guy, but if you actually talk to him,” Rodman said.
“We always talk. We sing karaoke. It’s so fun. Ride horses. Everything,” Rodman said of the man believed to be responsible for the executions of more than 300 people. “These people don’t hate us. It’s the politics that’s the bad thing.”
“Wow, what I’d do that’s so bad?” Rodman said again, as he broke down seemingly confused by all the backlash over his special friendship with Kim Jong-un.
He’s planning his next trip to North Korea in August.
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