White House: President Briefly Lived With Kenyan-Born Uncle

· Dec. 5, 2013, 8:51 pm

The White House has acknowledged that as a student at Harvard Law School in the 1980s, the president briefly lived with his Kenyan-born uncle, after it first denied the two had ever met.

Earlier this week, Onyango Obama, 69, faced a deportation that resulted from a 2011 drunken-driving arrest. At the hearing, which he won, the judge asked about his family, and Onyango replied that he had a nephew named Barack Obama, adding, “He’s the president of the United States.”

According to The Boston Globe, Onyango also testified that while the future president was attending Harvard Law School, he briefly stayed with him.

On Thursday, White House spokesman Eric Schultz said in a statement that President Obama “did stay with him [Onyango] for a brief period of time until his apartment was ready.”

“After that, they saw each other once every few months, but after law school they fell out of touch. The president has not seen him in 20 years, has not spoken with him in 10,” Schultz said.

That statement contradicts a January 2012 article in The Globe about Onyango Obama, in which the White House is reported to have said the two never met.

The Associated Press writes:

“Onyango Obama, the half-brother of the president’s late father, testified he has lived in the U.S. since 1963, when he entered on a student visa. He had a series of immigration hearings in the 1980s and was ordered to leave the country in 1992 but remained.”

“His immigration status didn’t become public until his 2011 drunken-driving arrest in Framingham, Mass. Police said after the arrest he told them, ‘I think I will call the White House.’

“In the president’s memoir, Dreams from My Father, he writes about his 1988 trip to Kenya and refers to an Uncle Omar, who matches Onyango Obama’s background and has the same date of birth.”

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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