He may have had the most face time with the North Korean dictator out of any American, but Dennis Rodman isn't invited to the North Korea summit, Trump confirmed on Thursday, according to The Hill. The larger-than-life former basketball star does not seem to be a part of any plan for the historic summit that will take place between the president and Kim Jong Un in Singapore June 12. But Rodman has made it clear on social media that, you know, he'll casually be in Singapore in case the president needs him.
“I like him. He’s a nice guy. No, he was not invited,” President Trump said, The Hill reported. Trump addressed whether Rodman was formally given an invitation to the summit while talking to reporters during a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The president also pointed out that he was unaware of Rodman's plans to be in Singapore while the summit is scheduled to take place.
On Friday, though, Rodman confirmed that he was indeed flying out to Singapore for the summit. "The Worm" posted the announcement on Instagram, with the caption: "Thanks to my loyal sponsors from @potcoin and my team at @princemarketinggroup, I will be flying to Singapore for the historical Summit. I'll give whatever support is needed to my friends, President Trump and Marshall Kim Jong Un." The Instagram post featured a photoshopped picture of a thumbs-up Trump and somewhat-smiling Kim, with Rodman laughing in the middle.
According to CNN, Rodman's agent Darren Prince also confirmed that the former basketball player would be in Singapore. "He is willing to offer his support for his friends, President Trump and Marshall Kim Jong Un," Prince said.
Rodman's trip will be sponsored by a cryptocurrency for marijuana, according to his Instagram post. The cryptocurrency, called Potcoin, was founded in 2014 as a digital go-between meant to erase the need for cash transactions between dispensaries and weed buyers (which can come in handy since marijuana is illegal under federal law and can be difficult to deal with when it comes to banks and credit lines), AOL reported. The same cryptocurrency also sponsored Rodman's 2017 trip to North Korea.
"We at PotCoin definitely believe that Dennis Rodman deserves the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with President Trump and the Marshal Kim Jong Un," Shawn Perez, a PotCoin spokesman, told The Washington Post.
Rodman, who has been to North Korea five times, became fast friends with Kim several years ago. The NBA Hall of Famer's first visit to the hermit kingdom was in 2013, after which Rodman reportedly called Kim an "awesome guy."
Though Rodman is planning to be in Singapore this week during the summit, CNN confirmed that the former baller doesn't have any official role. A senior administration official previously said to CNN that Rodman is not playing any part or involved in whatever the president's staff is planning at the summit. "We have no comment on Dennis Rodman's private travel," an unnamed State Department official said to CNN. "He's not a representative of the U.S. government."
Rodman also has a past with President Trump: the former Chicago Bulls player was previously a contestant on Trump's reality show Celebrity Apprentice. Rodman was (you're) fired off the show after he misspelled Melania's name in a promotions competition.
After his update confirming his Singapore trip, Rodman posted another Instagram picture of himself with Trump. He praised the president, writing, "To all Americans and the rest of the world I’m honored to call @realdonaldtrump a friend. He’s one of the best negotiators of all time and I’m looking forward to him adding to his historic success at the Singapore Summit."
Rodman's sentiment seems to follow Trump's mindset ahead of the summit. In an approach consistent with Trump's wing-it style, the president told reporters that he does not have to prepare “very much” for this unprecedented summit with North Korea because he believes “it’s about attitude," according to The Hill.
“I think I'm very well prepared,” Trump said, according to The Hill. “I don't think I have to prepare very much. It's about attitude. It's about willingness to get things done.”
Rodman also posted this picture with a North Korean official. The caption reads: "Wow! This was 1 year ago on June 15, 2017 when I gave this book "Art of the Deal" to the Sports Minister Kim Il Guk in Pyongyang, North Korea. I'm hoping everyone reads it before the historic Singapore Summit on June 12th. We've got the greatest negotiator of all time @realdonaldtrump to show the world how it's done and add to his incredible legacy!"
Between Rodman's enthusiastic #BasketballDiplomacy and admiration for Trump and Kim, the former basketball star might just earn a last-minute spot at the high-stakes nuclear policy table. But not unless Trump changes his mind — and soon. The president is scheduled to meet with Kim at the luxury resort Capella Hotel in Singapore on Tuesday.