- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Sen. John McCain didn’t pull punches when characterizing former NBA star Dennis Rodman’s cozy relations with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un: He’s an “idiot,” the Arizonan said.

But moreover, he’s a “dangerous idiot,” Mr. McCain said, Newsmax reported.

“I think he’s an idiot, but he’s a dangerous idiot because he gives good propaganda to … arguably, the most brutal, crazy man on earth,” he said, to “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.

SEE ALSO: Kenneth Bae’s family ‘appalled’ by Dennis Rodman in North Korea: ‘This isn’t some game’

Mr. McCain’s comments came after Mr. Rodman organized an exhibition basketball game for the despot he’s described on several previous occasions as his “friend for life” — but before the former NBA great actually crooned a happy birthday song to Mr. Kim, as a pregame well-wish.

Mr. Kim is believed to have turned 31 on Wednesday. Mr. Rodman and 11 other American basketball players traveled to Pyongyang to play a North Korean team as a birthday gift to the despotic leader.

The trip has resulted in widespread criticism of Mr. Rodman, who also just suggested during a CNN broadcast that imprisoned American Kenneth Bae — who was sentenced to 15 years of labor camp for unclear charges related to distribution of religious materials in the atheist nation — may actually have deserved his punishment.

SEE ALSO: Dennis Rodman croons to Kim Jong-un: ‘Happy birthday to you’

As Mr. McCain reminded, however, Mr. Rodman has always been a lightning rod.

Rodman has always been a wacko, as you know, but the fact that he and his friends are giving good propaganda for this brutal dictator who had his uncle killed, had his ex-girlfriend shot and supervises the biggest gulag on earth … it helps this two-bit dictator,” Mr. McCain said, in Newsmax. “What he’s doing is helping this guy and giving him an increased prestige, and that’s what’s wrong.”