If Donald Trump was hoping to use the negotiating skills honed during decades in business to strike a bargain with Kim Jong Un, he’d better think again.
Dennis Rodman, the former basketball star who’s now on his fifth visit to Pyongyang, just presented a copy of “The Art of the Deal” to the North Korean leader. That means that Kim — a man that Trump has already called a “pretty smart cookie” — might be wise to Trump’s tactics if the two ever meet.
In the 1987 book, Trump lays out the key principles to stick to during a negotiation — basically, the recipe to his success. These include mantras like “think big” and “maximize your options.”
Rodman had hoped to see the 33-year-old North Korean leader — to whom he once sang “Happy Birthday” from the basketball court — during this latest visit to North Korea. That doesn’t appear to have happened yet.
Rodman has instead been seen visiting the birthplace of “eternal president” Kim Il Sung — a regular stop on the North Korea tourist trail — and with the women’s basketball team. On Thursday, he presented presents for Kim to North Korea’s minister of sports: two autographed basketball jerseys, soap sets, a mermaid jigsaw, and two books: “Where’s Waldo?” and “The Art of the Deal.”
The puzzle and the “Where’s Waldo?” are likely for Kim’s daughter — Rodman held her when she was a baby during the a previous visit — the Trump book was certainly for Kim himself.
This may be a cheeky gesture on Rodman’s part.
Trump and Rodman know each other — the basketballer was on “Celebrity Apprentice” — and Kim hosted Rodman in North Korea several times in 2013 and 2014. Rodman has called Kim a “friend for life” and tweeted that Trump “has been a great friend for many years.”
That makes the NBA hall of famer the link between Kim and Trump — and has provoked speculation that Rodman has gone to North Korea as a kind of emissary for the president. The State Department has strongly denied that Rodman’s trip is anything other than a private one.