The former N.B.A. star Dennis Rodman has all the time had a capability to seize the highlight. There was the time he donned a marriage ceremony gown and claimed to marry himself. There have been his stints on actuality tv and as a professional wrestler. And there was his uncommon relationship with the North Korean chief, Kim Jong-un, to whom he sang “Happy Birthday” in 2014.
So when President Trump and Mr. Kim began their historic meeting in Singapore on Tuesday, it appeared inevitable that The Worm, as Mr. Rodman is thought, would make an look.
The retired basketball star has met each males and solid unlikely ties to North Korea, touring to the remoted authoritarian state a number of instances and as soon as taking a workforce of retired basketball gamers to Pyongyang, the North’s capital, to play earlier than Mr. Kim.
In an emotional interview with CNN shortly after Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim shook palms, Mr. Rodman expressed his hopes for the assembly, declaring, “Today is a great day.”
Speaking to CNN from Singapore, Mr. Rodman wore sun shades, a pink “Make America Great Again” hat and a T-shirt bearing the identify of PotCoin, a marijuana business cryptocurrency that sponsored his journey. He teared up at instances in the course of the interview with Chris Cuomo as he recounted the criticism he obtained for visiting North Korea after Mr. Kim turned chief.
Mr. Rodman stated he obtained “so many death threats” after returning residence.
“But I kept my head up high, brother,” he stated. “I knew things were going to change. I knew it. I was the only one.”
“Today is a great day for everybody: Singapore, Tokyo, China, everything,” Mr. Rodman continued. “It’s a great day, and I’m here to see it. I’m so happy!”
While some folks have criticized Mr. Rodman as an attention-hungry interloper, others have prompt he has a distinctive position within the warming ties between the United States and North Korea.
Mr. Cuomo said on CNN that Mr. Rodman “is our best resource at this point right now for understanding the minds of the two men, especially Kim Jong-un.”
His visitor James R. Clapper Jr., the previous director of nationwide intelligence, stated that “as weird as it is,” he agreed.
“This whole thing is unconventional,” Mr. Clapper stated.
As in earlier interviews, Mr. Rodman declined to straight reply questions on human rights abuses in North Korea. He acknowledged, nonetheless, that he was “very naïve” in 2013 when he first traveled there.
Mr. Rodman received two N.B.A. championships with the Detroit Pistons and three with the Chicago Bulls, and was referred to as a lot for his powerful protection and rebounding as his hair dye and fingernail polish.
His N.B.A. fame helped him forge a reference to Mr. Kim, and he is likely one of the few folks to have a relationship with each Mr. Kim and Mr. Trump. He appeared on “The Celebrity Apprentice,” the tv present hosted by Mr. Trump, in 2009 and 2013. Mr. Trump praised Mr. Rodman’s first go to to North Korea, saying in 2013, “Maybe Dennis is a lot better than what we have.”
But he later lashed out at him. “Dennis Rodman was either drunk or on drugs (delusional) when he said I wanted to go to North Korea with him,” Mr. Trump tweeted in 2014. “Glad I fired him on Apprentice!”
Mr. Rodman stated that Mr. Kim had requested him to go alongside a message to Barack Obama, then president, however “Obama didn’t give me the time of day.”
Despite the sooner criticism from Mr. Trump, Mr. Rodman stated that the president had acknowledged his contribution to ties with North Korea forward of the Singapore assembly. A secretary for the president had referred to as, Mr. Rodman stated. “She said, ‘Dennis, Donald Trump is so proud of you. He thanks you a lot.’”
“And that means a lot,” he added. “After all these years, the fact that I somewhat had something to do with this North Korea situation, but I don’t want to take any credit, where credit is due. I think we all need to take credit.”
While Mr. Rodman stated nothing concerning the many obstacles to a lasting peace between the 2 sides, he stated contact between the leaders was an vital begin.
“Let’s just hope for the best,” Mr. Rodman stated. “We don’t need a miracle, we just need the doors to be open so we can start afresh and make this world a better place.”