Dennis Rodman Takes Credit for Otto Warmbier's Release, Cries Over Backlash About North Korea Trips
The former NBA star said he's making the trips to North Korea out of the 'kindness of my heart."
Dennis Rodman broke down in tears during an interview with Good Morning America when asked about the public backlash to his recent trip to North Korea.
Read: 2,500 Mourners Gather to Bid Final Farewell to Otto Warmbier in Emotional Funeral Service
Rodman and his agent, Chris Volo, spoke to Michael Strahan in a bizarre interview in which the former NBA superstar took credit for the release of American college student Otto Warmbier.
Volo claimed that he asked the regime, on “behalf of Dennis,” for the college student's release, adding, “I know we had something to do with it.”
Rodman arrived in the isolated country on the same day Warmbier was sent home.
They say they didn’t realize that Warmbier was essentially brain dead when he arrived back home in Ohio. The student died six days later.
“I was just so happy to see the kid released," Rodman said. “Later that day, that's when we found out he was ill. No one knew that. We jumped up and down. Some good things came of this trip."
Warmbier had been held inside a North Korean prison for 17 months after the dictatorship said the University of Virginia student ripped down a propaganda poster.
Rodman is feeling the major blowback and insisting, “I didn’t know that he was sick.”
"What am I getting out of this?" Rodman said, becoming visually emotional. "I'm going over there out of my kindness of my heart just to try to help. Just to open the door... a little bit so we can have [a] talk."
Read: Student Otto Warmbier, Held in North Korea Until Last Week, Has Died, Family Says
"It's not trying to do political stuff. It's almost just trying to reach out for sports and see if I can bring sports to North Korea," Rodman said.
The interview followed North Korea's first official response to Warmbier's death.
"The fact that Warmbier died suddenly in less than a week just after his return to the U.S. is a mystery to us as well," the regime's foreign ministry spokesman told the Korean Central News Agency.
They're also calling charges the 22-year-old was beaten into a coma "groundless.”
Watch: Lawmakers Call Death of Otto Warmbier 'Murder' as Questions Remain About What Happened to Him
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