Well, folks, it appears we're living in times when Dennis Rodman rips President Barack Obama. Yep. The former Chicago Bulls star took aim at Obama this week, criticizing him for refusing to speak with Kim Jong-Un about the ongoing issues with North Korea.
Rodman became a sort of pseudo-diplomat when he first visited the Hermit Kingdom on a "basketball diplomacy" mission back in February while filming a documentary for HBO. The former NBA player was photographed laughing with Kim courtside, all while relations between North Korea and the West deteriorated. The two became pals during the trip, and Rodman plans to go back in August. Rodman insisted at the end of his trip that the Supreme Leader is a "really awesome guy."
After a brief lull in North Korea's recent anti-U.S. rhetoric, tensions heightened again last week when it was revealed that North Korea had sentenced Korean-American Kenneth Bae to 15 years of hard labor for unspecified "hostile acts" against the state, the Associated Press reported. The U.S. has been relying on Swedish diplomats in Pyongyang to deal with the issue because North Korea and the U.S. haven't had diplomatic relations since the 1953 ceasefire that ended the Korean War.
On Tuesday, Rodman attempted to intervene.
I'm calling on the Supreme Leader of North Korea or as I call him "Kim", to do me a solid and cut Kenneth Bae loose.
— Dennis Rodman (@dennisrodman) May 7, 2013
When TMZ this week caught up with the basketball legend known as "The Worm," Rodman ripped into Obama for failing to speak with Kim. He said he plans to try to get Bae released during his August trip.
"I'm not a diplomat, man, I'm just trying to go over there," he told TMZ. "But I'm going to do one thing for you. We got a black president can't even go talk to him, how about that one? ... I'll put it like this, Obama can't do s**t. I don't know why he won't do it. So do that bulls**t."
In March, Rodman asked Obama to call Kim, reasoning that Kim told him he doesn't really want to go to war with America.
The U.S. State Department had no involvement in Rodman's visit, according to ABC News, and has no plans to debrief the former athlete. Rodman told TMZ there is "no need" for the FBI or the CIA to debrief him because he doesn't "do politics" and he considers Kim a friend.