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CNN confronts Dennis Rodman over American missionary held by N. Korea

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Former NBA star Dennis Rodman went on a profanity-laced tirade in a CNN interview this morning over his support of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and his refusal to speak out for an American missionary imprisoned by him. Kenneth Bae has been jailed in North Korea since 2012 for crimes against the government, which have never been detailed. He was sentenced to 15 years hard labor last year and is reportedly in ill health. Rodman is currently in North Korea on a goodwill tour with a number of former NBA players, and gave CNN an interview from Pyongyang this morning.

When Chris Cuomo of CNN's "New Day" asked Rodman if he would intervene on Bae's behalf, the former All-Star exploded., saying at one point, "I don't give a s**t." Rodman then deflected any notion that he could speak with his professed friend Kim Jong Un about Bae's case, saying instead the trip should be about the former NBA players touring with him.

"You know, you've got 10 guys here, 10 guys here, they've left their families, they've left their damn families, to help this country, as in a sports venture," Rodman said. "That's 10 guys, all these guys here, do anyone understand that?"

Rodman then took aim at Cuomo, after the CNN anchor suggested he use his position with Un to help Bae. "I don't give a rat's ass what the hell you think," he said. "I'm saying to you, look at these guys here, look at them ... they dared to do one thing, they came here."

When Rodman did address Bae's situation, he offered no sympathy, despite Cuomo pushing for facts. "Kenneth Bae did one thing. If you understand what Kenneth Bae did," he said. "Do you understand what he did in this country? No, no, no, you tell me, you tell me. Why is he held captive here in this country, why? I would love to speak on this."

After again deflecting the issue to talk about the players with him, Cuomo said "Don't use these guys as a shield for you," with Rodman insisting his efforts will open doors in North Korea. Charles Smith, one of the former NBA players accompanying Rodman on the North Korea trip, later told ESPN he regretted what the trip had become, saying politics had overshadowed the humanitarian intent.

Victor Medina writes for Yahoo News and his political blog His other writing credits include The Dallas Morning News and He has served as a Dallas County election judge and on the Board of Directors of The Sixth Floor Museum. You can follow him on his blog, or on Twitter at @mrvictormedina. He can be reached by email at Click here to receive a weekly email update from To be notified of future stories by Victor Medina, click the SUBSCRIBE link here or at the top of this page.



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