Dennis Rodman Says He's Going to Russia to Help Free Brittney Griner

Dennis Rodman says he's going to put his dictator diplomacy to good use soon in an attempt to free Brittney Griner, who's currently jailed in Russia.

"I got permission to go to Russia to help that girl," Rodman told @NBCNews at a restaurant in D.C. "I'm trying to go this week."

Dennis Rodman has visited North Korea a lot over the years and built a relationship with Kim Jong Un.

Rodman has always insisted his connections in N. Korea have helped U.S. diplomatic efforts -- including the release of an American prisoner, Kenneth Bae.

There isn't much more to the NBC interview -- which sounds like it was fast and on the move, as there's no video or anything beyond text quotes

other than Rodman suggesting that he's also familiar with Vladimir Putin, adding that he knows the leader "well."

As NBC and other outlets have noted ... Rodman doesn't actually need permission to head to Russia right now -- and there's no word yet on whether this is a U.S.-sanctioned effort.

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