US President Barack Obama’s half-brother said Tuesday he was going to vote for Republican candidate Donald Trump in this year’s American election, saying he felt let down his sibling’s neglect of his Kenyan family.
Obama was born in Hawaii to an American mother and a Kenyan father he barely knew, who left the family home and the US when the future president was two years old.
“This Trump guy is a really cool guy and I like him because he speaks from his heart and he is so down to earth,” Malik Obama told AFP by phone from the western Kenyan village of Kogelo, from where the pair’s father’s family comes from.
“Trump is so much concerned about security and he wants to make America great,” added Obama, who has both Kenyan and US citizenship and says he has voted in US elections since the 1980s.
“The guy speaks from his heart and you can see he is very honest in what he says. He speaks what he thinks. It is not like someone is prompting him,” added Obama.
Last year President Obama paid his first visit to Kenya since assuming office in 2009, but did not visit Kogelo, where his father is buried.
Malik Obama said he felt his half-brother could have done more for his family in Kenya.
“I still love my brother, but it still baffles me that when he came to Kenya he told us that he can’t associate too much with family back home just because he is the president of the United States, and that he needs to finish his term for him to associate more. It does not make any sense at all,” he said with a laugh.
“This is the time we need him most, not when he is out of the White House,” said Malik Obama, adding that Kenya should have benefited more from his half-brother’s presidency.
Brash billionaire Republican Trump will battle Hillary Clinton in November’s presidential election to succeed Obama.