President Barack Obama’s half-brother says he will vote for Republican nominee Donald Trump in the US election in November because he likes the candidate and he is unhappy with his brother’s leadership.
Malik Obama told Reuters by phone from Obama’s ancestral home of Kogelo in Kenya that he supported Trump’s policies, especially his focus on security.
‘He appeals to me and also I think that he is down to earth and he speaks from the heart and he is not trying to be politically correct. He’s just straightforward.’
Malik, a US citizen, has lived in Washington since 1985. He is an independent financial consultant. Trump’s stance against Muslims entering the US was understandable even to Muslims such as himself, Malik said.
‘I’m a Muslim, of course, but you can’t have people going around just shooting people just in the name of Islam.’
He criticised the president’s record in the White House, saying he had not done much for the American people and his extended family despite the high expectations that accompanied his election in 2008, both in the US and Kenya.
The two men appear to have drifted apart but were previously close. Malik, who is in his 50s, has visited the president in the Oval office and was also best man at Barack’s wedding.
Obama’s election created much excitement in Kenya, especially in Kogelo village where their father was born before going to study at the University of Hawaii.
Obama visited Nairobi, in the first trip by a sitting US president to the east African nation in July 2015, and promised to visit more often when he left office.
Malik defended his right to criticise his brother, citing freedom of expression. ‘To each his own. I speak my mind and I’m not going to be put in a box just because my brother is the president of the US.’