In a bizarre interview with ABC News, the one American who has spent significant time with North Koran leader Kim Jong Eun — former NBA star Dennis Rodman — said Sunday that he considers the human rights violator his “friend.”
“He’s a good guy to me. He’s my friend,” Rodman said. “I don’t condone what he does, but as a person to person, he’s my friend.”
Rodman visited with Kim during a trip to the country last week, making him perhaps the one American who knows much of anything about country’s new leader. Whatever he does know, though, he had a hard time enunciating.
Rodman was at turns incoherent and contradictory, with host George Stephanopoulos pushing him on why he would speak well of a man who presides over prison camps and stifles dissent.
Rodman said Kim told him that he would like for Obama to call him so they could talk and also noted that both men like basketball, suggesting it could be a conversation-starter.
At the end of the interview, Stephanopoulos presented Rodman with a study from Human Rights Watch about human rights abuses in North Korea.
Rodman responded: “Well either way, either way — guess what, though — guess what — thank you for the report. Guess what, guess what, don’t hate me. Don’t hate me. Guess what. Don’t hate me. Guess what. Don’t hate me.”