"It’s probably better than what we have," Trump told Fox News. "If you look at the world, the world is blowing up around us. Maybe Dennis is better than what we have.”
On Monday, Trump — a frequent Obama antagonist who saw Rodman compete on his reality television show — said that comment amounted to deliberate statecraft.
"He’s very street wise and you know that little statement about 'all I want to do is have Obama call me,' " Trump said. "Maybe that is not the worst thing, folks — instead of going through this whole charade that we do every year with this people. Maybe it’s not the worst thing that somebody actually calls because you look at this world. This world is blowing up around us."
Rodman traveled to North Korea with the Harlem Gobetrotters as part of a HBO documentary series. He met with Kim at a basketball game and a party at the dictator's palace.
The visit came less than a month after North Korea conducted its third nuclear test, drawing a strong rebuke from the United States and North Korea. The Obama administration has threatened additional sanctions against the country following the test.
The State Department has condemned the visit, saying the North Korean regime should not have spent money hosting the basketball star that could have been used for humanitarian aid.
"Clearly you've got the regime spending money to wine and dine foreign visitors, when they should be feeding their own people," spokesman Patrick Ventrell told reporters.
Rodman has also come under criticism for the trip, and endured a difficult line of questioning Sunday from ABC's "This Week" host George Stephanopoulos, who suggested Rodman read Human Rights Watch's latest report on North Korea before visiting the country again.
Rodman called the North Korean leader a "great guy" during the ABC interview.