Former NBA star Dennis Rodman openly wept on television in a live interview from Singapore as President Trump and Kim Jong Un met for the first time. The eccentric former reality television star is one of the few westerners to have spent time with the North Korean leader during multiple visits to Pyongyang and the two struck up an unlikely friendship over their shared love of basketball, the AP reports. Rodman also goes back years with Trump and appeared on his Celebrity Apprentice show. In an emotional interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo, Rodman, wearing sunglasses and a "Make America Great Again" hat, said he had received a call from the White House ahead of Trump's historic meeting with Kim—the first between a sitting president and North Korean leader.
"Yes, Donald Trump reached out," Rodman said, telling Cuomo he'd received a call from a person he described as Trump's secretary. "She called me and said, 'Dennis, Donald Trump is so proud of you. He thanks you a lot.' And that means a lot," said Rodman. He added that he suspected he "somewhat had something to do with this North Korean situation." Rodman grew emotional as he recalled former President Obama failing to take him seriously when he returned from Pyongyang with a message from Kim. Rodman said Obama "just brushed me off" and "didn't even give me the time of day." He expressed hope that Trump and Kim would be able to make progress. Asked to describe Kim, Rodman said the autocratic leader was "like a big kid" who wants to have a good time, but is "trying to protect his people" and his honor.