WASHINGTON — Former NBA player Dennis Rodman said Saturday that he plans to visit Russia to seek the release of Brittney Griner, the WNBA star who was sentenced to nine years in prison on drug charges earlier this month.
"I got permission to go to Russia to help that girl," Rodman told NBC News at a restaurant in D.C. "I'm trying to go this week.".
And he has credited himself with helping to secure the release of American Kenneth Bae from North Korea.
The U.S. has imposed stiff sanctions on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine and is aiding Ukraine’s forces.
The U.S. offer to Russia involved a swap of Griner and Whelan for imprisoned Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.
Rodman, who was in Washington for a sneaker convention, does not need special permission from the U.S. to enter Russia — just a visa from Moscow.
Though he has a much more established relationship with Kim, Rodman expressed confidence in his understanding of Russia's president. »