Dennis Rodman is very good at basketball and being friends with a repressive dictator. But don't ask him to, like, rescue a fellow American being held captive by his best repressive dictator friend, because that's not his job. That's for "assholes" like Obama and Hillary Clinton, according to the former NBA player.
Rodman somehow made it back alive from his most recent trip to North Korea, where he was somehow not thrown into a gulag by his "friend for life," the reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Rodman flew into Beijing, China on Saturday. Rodman spent five days in Pyongyang during his second trip to North Korea this year. This one came together after the State Department's planned trip to North Korea -- their first in two years -- fell apart at the last minute.
While Rodman's last trip came when North Korea was threatening to nuke literally everyone else in the world, this trip came while American citizen Kenneth Bae, 45, has been imprisoned since November. He was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in a North Korean prison camp for "hostile acts" in April. Bae was an evangelical missionary and tour operator prior to his arrest. North Korea accused him of distributing material that they believe was going to help fuel a Christian takeover of the country.
So did Rodman use his sway with Jong-un, who he just spent his vacation laughing and palling around with, to try and help a fellow citizen out? Naw. "That's not my job to ask about Kenneth Bae. Ask Obama about that. Ask Hillary Clinton," Rodman told reporters Saturday. "Ask those assholes," about Bae, he said.
"I don't give a shit."
Sorry, Bae. Hope you didn't place too much hope in a former basketball player, and one of the only Westerners with Kim Jong-un's ear, saving you from prison camp. Rodman did make it clear he wasn't going to help his countryman out ahead of his trip, even though he had publicly boasted about helping free Bae before.
Rodman also seems tired of reporters asking how he could possibly be friends with one of the most universally despised humans in the world. "He is my friend for life. I don't care what you guys think about him. I don't give a shit about what people around the world think about him," he told the group of reporters who greeted him at the airport. Cool, you guys seem meant for each other.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.