The White House Says Dennis Rodman Was Not Invited to the Summit With Kim Jong Un, But He Just Tweeted He's Going Anyway
Former NBA star Dennis Rodman announced he will travel to Singapore "for the historical summit" between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, thanking the cryptocurrency company PotCoin for sponsoring the trip.
"Thanks to my loyal sponsors from
@potcoin and my team at @Prince_Mrketing , I will be flying to Singapore for the historical Summit. I'll give whatever support is needed to my friends, @realDonaldTrump and Marshall Kim Jong Un," Rodman wrote on Twitter.
Thanks to my loyal sponsors from @potcoin and my team at @Prince_Mrketing , I will be flying to Singapore for the h… https://t.co/SfyGQPnKpz— Dennis Rodman (@Dennis Rodman)1528468215.0
Rodman also shared a photo of himself standing next to Trump and referred to him as "one of the best negotiators of all time."
To all Americans and the rest of the world I’m honored to call @POTUS a friend. He’s one of the best negotiators of… https://t.co/E65421UCFI— Dennis Rodman (@Dennis Rodman)1528473953.0
Rodman publicly endorsed Trump's presidential campaign in 2016; Rodman was a guest during the 2009 season of Trump's reality show, Celebrity Apprentice.
Rodman is also one of the few Americans to meet Kim Jong Un, let alone know the leader personally. The two men bonded over Kim's love of basketball after Rodman visited North Korea with Vice Media correspondent Ryan Duffy in 2013 to host basketball exhibitions. Rodman has since called the North Korean leader "a friend for life," has made repeated visits to the so-called Hermit Kingdom, and has claimed to have a vested interest in diplomatic relations between North Korea and the United States. Nevertheless, Rodman has faced significant criticism for his association with––and praise for––what many political commentators and foreign policy experts consider to be a hostile totalitarian regime.
The message Rodman issued via his official Twitter account was quickly deleted before he reposted it.
But there's one problem with Rodman's announcement: White House officials have repeatedly said that Rodman would play no official role in the diplomatic negotiations.
Yesterday, when asked whether Rodman would play a role in the summit, President Trump gave an unequivocal "no."
"I like him," Trump said of Rodman. "He's a nice guy. No, he was not invited."
Asked again on Friday whether Rodman would possibly be attending the summit, Mr. Trump said: "Dennis was a great rebounder and he wasn't relatively speaking that tall."
White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley also said that Rodman would not be attending the summit.
In a Fox News interview earlier today, Gidley said 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," Gidley said.
Whether the United States has officially entered the idiocracy or if Rodman's participation might actually happen has prompted considerable criticism from the blogosphere.
"Seb Gorka, Dennis Rodman, Sean Hannity and John Bolton are all on a plane to Singapore... Please tell me this is the start of a new parachute/backpack joke and not a real news report," wrote CNN analyst Mark Hertling.
Seb Gorka, Dennis Rodman, Sean Hannity and John Bolton are all on a plane to Singapore.... Please tell me this is… https://t.co/raQFqc5493— Mark Hertling (@Mark Hertling)1528393976.0
"Having the 'best people' apparently means making Dennis Rodman the linchpin of your plan to avert World War III," wrote attorney Seth Abramson.
Having the "best people" apparently means making Dennis Rodman the linchpin of your plan to avert World War III— Seth Abramson (@Seth Abramson)1528473997.0
"We are the laughingstock of the world," wrote activist Amy Siskind.
We are the laughing stock of the world: “"No matter what you might think about his presence. One thing’s for sure t… https://t.co/HNwXOa4s2V— Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈 (@Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈)1528249045.0
Rodman has not responded to any of the criticisms.