White House shoots down Rodman playing a role in North Korea summit
By Jordyn Phelps
Though a source familiar tells ABC News that former NBA star Dennis Rodman plans to be in Singapore during President Donald Trump’s summit with Kim Jong Un set for June 12, the White House says Rodman will not have a role to play in the historic summit.
Rodman “is great on the court but negotiations should best be left to those who are good at it. President Donald Trump is the best. So we expect he and Kim Jong-un to have an amazing conversation without Dennis Rodman in tow,” deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said during an interview on FOX News Thursday.
A separate White House official further rebuffed the notion that Rodman is working in tandem with the White House, saying they had “absolutely no knowledge of any U.S. government contact with Dennis Rodman.”
Kyodo News via Getty Images, FILE
Former basketball star Dennis Rodman, right, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, 2nd from left, watch a basketball game between American and North Korean players at the Pyongyang Indoor Stadium on Jan. 8, 2014.
Rodman has previously traveled to North Korea and engaged in informal diplomacy efforts on a personal level with the Kim Jong Un.
While Rodman’s trip to Singapore may be independent of the official US delegation, that’s not stopping Rodman’s allies from promoting him and suggesting that he should be a joint recipient of a potential peace prize.
“We believe Dennis Rodman, Kim Jong Un, and Donald Trump should win a joint peace prize,” said Shawn Perez, a spokesperson for the digital currency for the marijuana industry Potcoin.com that sponsored Dennis Rodman’s last trip to North Korea.
Perez declined to confirm Rodman’s plans to travel to Singapore, saying plans were in the process of being finalized and that an official announcement will be made in the coming days.
Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images, FILE
President Donald Trump boards Air Force Once as he departs for a trip to Texas, May 31, 2018 at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland.
“He was the greatest rebounder on the court and he’s the greatest rebounder off the court.”
ABC News’ Aaron Katersky and Meridith McGraw contributed reporting.