It seems that the stress of being constantly questioned about his relationship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un — or perhaps something else — is finally getting to Dennis Rodman. On Tuesday morning, Rodman, who is currently in Pyongyang to play in a basketball game celebrating Kim’s birthday, blew up during an interview with Chris Cuomo after the CNN host asked if he would “speak up for the family of Kenneth Bae,” the American who has been sentenced to fifteen years in North Korean prison for “hostile acts” against the country.
“The one thing about politics, Kenneth Bae did one thing. If you understand — if you understand what Kenneth Bae did,” said a shaky-voiced Rodman. “Do you understand what he did? In this country?” When Cuomo asked Rodman to clarify, he began shouting about the sacrifices made by the ex-NBA players he brought on the trip and the abuse they would face as a result of their participation in his latest bout of basketball diplomacy, at one point telling Cuomo that he “didn’t give a rat’s ass” what he thought. Eventually, Charles Smith intervened, asking Cuomo to stop “baiting” Rodman and explaining that they aren’t in North Korea “for any political aspects.” He might want to remind Rodman of that before the basketball player absorbs anymore of Kim’s opinions on Bae, or anything else.