President Barack Obama became “cold and ruthless” once he took office and abandoned his family in Kenya when they were most in need, according to a book from his half-brother Malik Obama.
“He got rich and became a snob,” Malik, 62, told The New York Post via Skype. “What I saw was he was the kind of person that wants people to worship him. He needs to be worshiped and I don’t do that. I am his older brother so I don’t do that.”
In “Big Bad Brother From Kenya,” a self-published memoir that Malik Obama has been writing for the last 22 years, he details the slow but eventual fall out between him and Barack. The rift forced Malik to endorse Donald Trump for president in 2016.
“We had a big fight on the phone because he was not in support and insisted I shut down the website and not continue with the foundation. He had his reasons but I was not having any of it,” Malik writes, describing a tumultuous phone call just before the 2009 inauguration. “We talked late into the night that night. He threatened to ‘cut me off’ if I continued with the idea,” He told the New York Post.
The president likely wanted to distance himself from the foundation, which failed to register as a tax-exempt, federally recognized nonprofit, yet still claimed it was. The foundation is still around, but it’s raised less than $50,000 annually since 2011, tax filings showed.
During the same call, President Obama told his half-brother that he wouldn’t be inviting his aunt Hawa Auma Hussein, the last surviving full-sibling of their father, to the inauguration.
Aunt Hawa worked as a charcoal seller in a broken-down house, according to local Kenyan media.
When the president visited Kenya in July 2015, Malik pleaded with him to help the family out financially.
“It was awkward as I tried to convey Auntie Hawa’s wishes to her nephew. She wanted him to look out for her, build her a house, etc. I told him he owed it to her, to the family for him to do anything, something,” Malik writes. “Barack said that he was broke.”
Zeituni Onyango was another one of Barack’s aunts. She had lived as a squatter in a Boston public housing project and was given asylum in 2010. She passed in 2014 without any money, so Malik reached out to Barack to help pay for the burial.
“We needed to pay for the bills and the cost of her transportation back to Kenya,” Malik wrote about an Oval Office meeting on April 16. “[Barack] asked me how much and I told him roughly $20,000. This was too much he said.”
Barack eventually chipped in $5,000 and it took the Obama family another month to raise the rest of the cash.
“She really had been good to him,” Malik Obama writes. “I don’t understand how somebody who claimed to be a relative or a brother can behave the way that he’s behaving, be so cold and ruthless, and just turn his back on the people he said were his family.”
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