Dennis Rodman Says Kim Jong Un Had 'Change of Heart' After Reading Trump's Book

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman—the unsanctioned, amateur American ambassador to North Korea—said his meetings with Kim Jong Un brought "awareness" to the U.S. which has helped usher in the upcoming nuclear talks. Although Trump has previously ridiculed both Rodman and Kim Jong Un, the U.S. president's most recent comments suggest he wants to help lead a proposed nuclear meeting.

Speaking with TMZ Monday, Rodman said he gave the supreme leader of North Korea a copy of President Donald Trump's 1987 book The Art of the Deal during his last visit to Pyongyang in 2017. Rodman said that he doesn't want to "take all the credit" for the nuclear program meeting, but his work as a "sports ambassador" helped usher in friendlier discourse between North Korea, South Korea and Trump, or just "the ability to talk."

"When I was...there the last time for his birthday I gave him Donald Trump's books, I gave him stuff about Donald Trump and about Americans," Rodman said in a TMZ Sports video interview. "I think he didn't realize who Donald Trump was at that time until I guess he could read the book. I don't want to take all the credit, I don't wanna sit there and say 'I did this,' that's not my intention."

Rodman, a former contestant on Celebrity Apprentice, described Trump as a "good friend" and said he wanted to take advantage of "all these good things [Trump] was saying about North Korea and Kim Jong Un." Rodman said Trump's openness to dialogue with the North Korean leader has led to a "change of heart" toward Americans and Trump himself.

Trump tweeted Monday morning "just asking" his followers whether he should meet the North Korean leaders in the demilitarized zone.

The White House has not yet announced an official date or location for the proposed summit, but it follows last week's first-ever meeting between Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-In.

Dennis Rodman, the former NBA star and unsanctioned, amateur American ambassador to North Korea, said his meetings with Kim Jong Un brought “awareness” to the U.S. which has helped usher in the upcoming nuclear talks. Getty Images

Trump's seemingly conciliatory tone toward the North Korean dictator stands in stark contrast to Trump's comments last year about the country's nuclear tests in which he called Kim Jong Un "rocket man." Rodman told TMZ that Trump encouraged the former pro basketball player to visit North Korea the first time in 2013, allegedly telling him it would be a "great thing for you to go over there, Dennis."

However, a Trump tweet from 2014 tells a different side of the story. "Crazy Dennis Rodman is saying I wanted to go to North Korea with him. Never discussed, no interest, last place on Earth I want to go to," Trump wrote. In September 2015, Trump called Kim Jong Un a "maniac." And in August 2017, Trump asked if he had "anything better to do with his life" than launch rockets.

Rodman remains hopeful about how his initial meetings in North Korea have "resonated" to bring on the current nuclear negotiations. In December, Rodman tweeted a photo of a sweater in which Trump and Kim Jong Un "unite."

"I don't ask Donald Trump for anything, I like Donald Trump, he's a good friend and I've always asked him to talk to me because the people of North Korea and the government over there asked me to talk to Donald Trump about what they want and how we can solve things," Rodman told TMZ. "I'm not the president. I'm just one person. I'm just so happy that things are going well."

Dennis Rodman Says Kim Jong Un Had 'Change of Heart' After Reading Trump's Book | World