That’s according to Trey Yingst, the chief White House correspondent for the One America News Network, which reported Tuesday that Rodman’s presence in Singapore would, indeed, be “focused on promoting” the company, which describes itself as a “community-based cryptocurrency for legalized marijuana.” Yingst cited a source close to Rodman in confirming the five-time NBA champion’s travel plans, a development first reported by the New York Post.
“A lot of times in situations that involve complex diplomacy, countries like to identify ambassadors of goodwill, and whether you agree with it or not, Dennis Rodman fits the bill,” a source told the paper. The newspaper added that sources said Rodman “could even play some sort of role in the negotiations.”
As far-fetched as that may sound to some, it’s not at all out of the question, particularly if the role is to help break the ice between Kim and Trump. Having been a contestant twice on Trump’s reality-TV show, “Celebrity Apprentice,” and having been to North Korea five times since 2013, he’s one of the few people on the planet to have met both leaders, let alone be on friendly terms with them.
In April, Rodman claimed to have helped Kim have a “change of heart” about the president by giving him a copy of Trump’s book, “The Art of the Deal.” Rodman said he didn’t “want to take all the credit” for the talk at the time of a summit meeting, but he claimed his efforts as “a sports ambassador to North Korea” have “resonated to this whole point now.”
“I always say he’s a big kid,” Rodman said of Kim in August, after Trump had promised “fire and fury” in response to North Korean threats. “We always talk about basketball, that’s all we talk about is basketball. No politics, no nothing about America against North Korea, we don’t talk about stuff like that. It’s always very light.
“To me, he does not want to have war. The way he talks to me, he doesn’t want to have war at all,” Rodman continued at the time. “It may sound like that on the news, but I see that Donald Trump and him is more like two big kids. Who is the toughest? Because I don’t know why he would even, in my eyes, remotely even think about bombing anything in the world. I’ve never heard of him say it in my face and we talk all the time.”
After abruptly removing a proposed summit meeting off the table, Trump has since moved forward with one, and the White House announced Tuesday that he would meet next week with Kim at a resort island off the coast of Singapore.
As for Rodman possibly making an appearance, “He’s talked about it, but no final trip or plans have been made,” a representative for Rodman, Darren Prince, told the paper. Prince said that although it “seemed like everyone [in the U.S.] turned on” his client after he first visited North Korea, “now things seem to be happening, so he’s just happy it’s happening.”