Weeks after US President Barack Obama formally endorsed Hillary Clinton as his successor, his half-brother, Malik Obama, has come forward to voice his support for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
“I like Donald Trump because he speaks from the heart. 'Make America Great Again' is a great slogan. I would like to meet him,” Malik Obama told The New York Post from his home in the rural village of Kogelo in Kenya.
Explaining his decision, Malik said, his ‘deep disappointment’ in his brother’s administration had led him to recently switch allegiance to ‘the party of Lincoln’.
Obama celebrates Eid for first time at White House
Even though Obama’s half-brother has long been a Democrat, he has decided not to vote for Hillary Clinton after the FBI Director James Comey recommended not prosecuting the Democratic presidential candidate over her use of private e-mail servers while secretary of state. “She should have known better as the custodian of classified information,” said Malik.
Malik also holds Clinton and Obama responsible for killing Libyan leader Muamar Gaddafi, whom he called one of his best friends. Malik dedicated his 2012 biography of his late father to Gaddafi and others who were ‘making this world a better place’. “I still feel that getting rid of Gaddafi didn’t make things any better in Libya. My brother and the secretary of state disappointed me in that regard.”
Another grievance the 58-year-old has against his half-brother is his party’s support for same-sex marriage. “I feel like a Republican now because they don’t stand for same-sex marriage, and that appeals to me,” he said.
Photo of Obama in Muslim garb shows deep ties to faith, claims Fox News host
Malik has at least three current wives, although some press reports have put the number as high as 12. He made headlines in 2011 when he married his third wife, who was still in her teens.
Soon after the news of Malik's support for Trump broke, the Republican candidate took to Twitter, saying, "Wow, President Obama's brother, Malik, just announced that he is voting for me. Was probably treated badly by president-like everybody else!"
The president's half-brother will visit the US in November to vote for Trump. He used to live in Maryland, where he worked for many years as an accountant and is registered to vote there, public records show.
Barack Obama's father left Kenya in 1959 when Malik was a year old and his mother was pregnant with his sister Auma. Obama Sr enrolled at the University of Hawaii, where he met and married the president’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham. Malik didn’t meet his younger half-brother until 1985. President Obama, 54, has seven half-siblings from both sides of his family.
Malik, the eldest, is the director of the Barack H Obama Foundation, a controversial Virginia charity named for his father. He says he started the charity in 2008 because he wanted to make a difference in the family’s hardscrabble village in Kenya.
US soap star says Obama is 'absolutely' Muslim
However, the charity came under fire when The New York Post revealed in 2011 that it was an off-the-books operation that hadn’t registered with the state of Virginia or, as it claimed, had tax-exempt status from the IRS.
Shortly after the report, the IRS gave its stamp of approval, leading to speculation that the president had intervened. “My brother didn’t help me at all,” Malik denied. “He wanted me to shut it down when I set it up. He hasn’t supported me at all.”
This article originally appeared on New York Post.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ