Why has Barack Obama's half-brother raised the "birther" issue again?

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  • Barack Obama
    Barack Obama
    44th president of the United States
Malik Obama (Rex)
Malik Obama (Rex)

Long after it seemed the issue of Barack Obama’s birthplace was no longer an issue, thanks to his half-brother, the topic is back in the news again.

Malik Obama tweeted a “copy” of what he claims is a valid birth certificate proving that his half-brother was born not in the USA, but in Mombasa, Kenya.

It is likely that with the tweet, the subject will be picked up again in the fractured world of US politics, where right-wing opponents and conspiracy theorists of the former president have long claimed he was not born in the US.

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The message has been re-tweeted more than 12,000 times

What does the birth certificate claim?

The certificate claims that Barack Obama was born in the ‘Coast Province General Hospital’ in Mombasa, on August 4, 1961. The former president was born in Honolulu and has previously published a birth certificate to show he was born there on August 4, 1961. His birth details were also published in the Honolulu Advertiser newspaper.

Barack Obama has published proof of his US birth (Rex)
Barack Obama has published proof of his US birth (Rex)

Why has Malik posted the birth certificate?

Malik has reportedly long had a strained relationship with his half-brother and has also publicly backed Donald Trump, one of the biggest voices of the “birther” movement. He also has accused his half-brother of not doing enough to help his Kenyan relatives.

Why does it matter?

The US Constitution says that only ‘natural-born citizens” can become President. If Barack Obama was born in Kenya, that would have disqualified him from becoming US president.

Malik Obama’s tweet (Twitter)
Malik Obama’s tweet (Twitter)

What has this got to do with the current president, Donald Trump?

Trump was one of the most prominent backers of the Birther movement who claimed in 2011, when he announced he was thinking of running as president, that he did not believe Obama’s claims about being born in the US.

In 2012, he even offered $5 million for charity if Obama could “prove” where he was born, even though that was a year after Obama had published his long form birth certificate to certify that he was born in the US.

It was only last year that Trump conceded that Obama was born in the US. He then falsely accused Hillary Clinton of being behind the original rumour.

Could it become an issue now?

With the Trump administration carrying out attacks recently on Barack Obama, it’s not impossible that the issue could become sensitive again, despite the proof from the former president and the denial of the issue from the current one

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