New York: US President Barack Obama's half-brother Malik Obama, a longtime Democrat, has switched allegiance to the Republican party and intends to vote for Donald Trump because he believes the business tycoon "speaks from the heart". Malik, 57, an accountant in Kenya, used to live in Maryland in the US and is still registered to vote there. He plans to travel back to the US to cast his ballot for the Republican presidential candidate in the November 8 polls.
"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 told the New York Post. Malik, a longtime Democrat, said his "deep disappointment" in his brother Barack's administration has led him to recently switch allegiance to "the party of Lincoln".
The last straw, he said, came earlier this month when FBI Director James Comey recommended not prosecuting Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton over her use of a private e-mail server while she was secretary of state.
"She should have known better as the custodian of classified information," Malik said. Lately, President Obama's family ties seem to be frayed. Malik, who was best man at President Obama's wedding, said he spoke to his brother a year ago and was miffed that he did nothing to help his own foray into politics when he ran for governor of the southwestern Kenyan county of Siaya in 2013.
Trump was quick to point out the news on Twitter, saying that Malik was probably treated badly by the President.
Wow, President Obama's brother, Malik, just announced that he is voting for me. Was probably treated badly by president-like everybody else!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 24, 2016
Malik is also annoyed that Clinton and President Obama "killed Libyan leader Muammar 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."
But what bothers him even more is the Democratic Party's support of 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. Malik currently has at least three wives.
The President's and Malik's father, Barack Obama Sr., 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 did not meet his younger half-brother until 1985. President Obama, 54, has seven half-siblings from both sides of his family.
Malik Obama, the eldest, is the director of the Barack H Obama Foundation, a controversial Virginia charity named for his father.
First Published On : Jul 25, 2016 18:16 IST