– In reversal, Obama says he lived with uncle (Boston Globe, Dec 5, 2013):
President Obama acknowledged Thursday that he lived with his Kenyan uncle for a brief period in the 1980s while preparing to attend Harvard Law School, contradicting a statement more than two years ago that the White House had no record of the two ever meeting.
Their relationship came into question Tuesday at the deportation hearing of the president’s uncle, Onyango Obama, in Boston immigration court. His uncle had lived in the United States illegally since the 1970s and revealed for the first time in testimony that his famous nephew had stayed at his Cambridge apartment for about three weeks. At the time, Onyango Obama was here illegally and fighting deportation.
On Thursday, a White House official said the press office had not fully researched the relationship between the president and his uncle before telling the Globe in 2011 that it had no record of the two meeting. This time, press office staff members asked the president directly, which they said they had not done in 2011.
“The president first met Omar Obama when he moved to Cambridge for law school,” said White House spokesman Eric Schultz. “The president did stay with him 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.”
The White House said Onyango Obama’s immigration case was handled “without any interference from the president or the White House.”
The case raised numerous concerns about a potential conflict of interest after Onyango Obama’s arrest in August 2011 for drunken driving in Framingham. The arrest revealed outstanding deportation orders and his relationship to the president.
Shortly after his arrest, he told an officer, “I think I will call the White House.”
Onyango Obama is the second relative of the president’s father to face deportation toKenya since he took office.