POLITICS

John Kerry On Dennis Rodman: 'As A Diplomat, He Is A Great Basketball Player'

03/05/2013 10:42 am ET | Updated Mar 05, 2013

Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday took a shot at former Chicago Bulls star Dennis Rodman's recent trip to North Korea to visit leader Kim Jong Un.

"Dennis Rodman was a great basketball player,” he told NBC's Andrea Mitchell. "And as a diplomat, he is a great basketball player. And that’s where we’ll leave it."

The NBA star, who is no stranger to attention -- he once wore a wedding dress and said he was marrying himself to promote a book -- traveled to North Korea with a camera crew to visit with the 30-year-old dictator. He instantly became the most high-profile apologist for the regime with the worst human rights record in the world, with a massive system of prison camps, widespread starvation and no political freedom.

Rodman interrupted the parade of lawmakers and pundits Sunday to appear on ABC's "This Week." He said that Kim wanted Obama to "call him," and dodged questions about the regime's human rights record.

The White House denounced Rodman's trip Monday. "Instead of spending money on celebrity sporting events to entertain the elites of that country, the North Korean regime should focus on the well-being of its own people, who have been starved, imprisoned and denied their human rights," said Press Secretary Jay Carney.

Rodman reportedly got kicked out of the Time Hotel bar in Midtown Manhattan Sunday after loudly telling patrons how nice Kim is.

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