Gravel-voiced Rodman defends North Korea trip
Dennis Rodman went on a gravel-voiced tirade against CNN’s Chris Cuomo during an interview on “New Day” Tuesday when Cuomo asked if Rodman might encourage Kim Jong-Un to release U.S. citizen Kenneth Bae.
Rodman, who is leading a team of NBA players, has been criticized for playing a game in North Korea that the country has staged as a birthday gift to Kim. The trip comes soon after Jong-Un, the country’s dictator, executed his uncle.
Former NBA player Charles Smith made the case during the interview that the players were only using “basketball diplomacy” to form friendships with North Koreans. Rodman described Kim as a friend, saying, “I love my friend.”
But when Cuomo asked if Rodman might use his friendship to secure the release of Bae, an American being held in North Korea without any charges, Rodman erupted.
“Watch this. The one thing about politics, Kenneth Bae did one thing, if you understand — if you understand what Kenneth Bae did, do you understand what he did?” Rodman responded.
“What did he do? You tell me,” said Cuomo.
“In this country. No no no no! You tell me! You tell me! Why is he held captive?” asked Rodman.
“They haven’t released any charges. They haven’t released any reason,” said Cuomo.
From there, Rodman went on an often difficult to understand rant in which he waved a cigar, cursed, said he didn’t give a “rat’s ass” what Cuomo thought, accused him of hiding “behind the mic,” and said that he and his fellow players would be the ones who had to “take the abuse” when they return to the U.S.
Rodman, 52, sought treatment for alcohol on “Celebrity Rehab” in 2009.
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