Why Did Trump Invite Obama’s Half-Brother, Malik, To The Debate?

Malik Obama, President Obama's estranged half-brother and Donald Trump campaign surrogate Kellyanne Conway following preparation for the final Presidential Debate.

The third Presidential Debate, held on October 19, 2016, was more of what we’ve seen before. Donald Trump extolled the virtues of policies designed to disproportionately favor the wealthy, made the racist generalization that many undocumented immigrants are “bad hombres,” continued to beat the dead horse about how the Affordable Care Act is a disaster (although it has enabled 20 million people in the U.S. to have health insurance), fibbed about not knowing Vladimir Putin, called Hillary Clinton “such a nasty woman,” and when asked if he would accept the election results, stated:

“I will look at it at the time. I’m not looking at anything now. I’ll look at it at the time.”

Yet there was a new element to this debate: Trump also invited one of his most vocal and most unlikely supporters, Malik Obama, President Barack Obama’s Kenyan-born Muslim half-brother.

Though Malik Obama, who is a U.S. citizen, voted as a Democrat for many years and was best man at Barack Obama’s marriage to Michelle, he turned against his half-brother some time over the past three years, feeling shunned. For example, Malik expressed displeasure that President Obama did not support the Barack H. Obama Foundation, a Virginia-based charity focused on improving the quality of life in the family’s struggling village in Kenya.

In 2011, The New York Post reported that the Barack H. Obama Foundation lied about being tax-exempt at the federal level, conducted its business under the table and offered no transparency whatsoever about how it spends its money, not even filing its expenditures with the Internal Revenue Service, despite being required to do so.

According to Malik Obama:

“My brother didn’t help me at all. He wanted me to shut it down when I set it up. He hasn’t supported me at all.”

However, June 26, 2011, the Barack H. Foundation’s application for tax-exempt status was  granted by the I.R.S., and done so retroactively as far back as 2009.

Malik Obama is also discouraged by the Democratic Party’s recent stand in favor of same-sex marriage and displeased that FBI Director James Comey opted not to prosecute Hillary Clinton for using a private email server.

Malik Obama wearing a traditional Muslim scarf decorated with Hamas slogans. Photo courtesy of the Barack H. Obama Foundation.
Malik Obama wearing a traditional Muslim scarf decorated with Hamas slogans. Photo courtesy of the Barack H. Obama Foundation.

Most unsettling about Malik Obama’s presence at the third Presidential debate is the fact that in January 2014, The Daily Mail reported that he had embraced militant Islam and showed a photograph of him wearing a keffiyeh, a scarf that is commonly part of traditional Middle Eastern dress bearing the Hamas slogans “Jerusalem is ours – WE ARE COMING” and “From the river to the sea.”

It’s unseemly enough that Trump attempted to throw Hillary Clinton off her game at the previous debate by inviting four women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual abuse to the second debate and trying to seat them in an area near the stage reserved for Trump’s family, despite the fact that numerous women have come forward with accounts that Donald Trump had sexually assaulted them. However, to invite somebody who appears to have ties to an extremist political movement that the United States has cut off from funding for the Palestinian Liberation Organization to a Presidential Debate just to throw it in Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s face that even one of Barack Obama’s blood relatives is for Trump and against them is one of the cheapest, weakest and most ineffective attempts at sleazy opportunism on the Donald’s Part.

Considering that Trump has stated that Muslims ought to be registered in a national database and be mandated to wear special identification badges at the expense of their rights under the Constitution, this gesture is as hypocritical as it could possibly get. Taken into account alongside his suggestion that Russian hackers target Clinton’s email server and his reliance on Russian investors with ties to Putin, it’s painfully clear that Donald Trump is too much out for himself to be President of the United States.

Featured image courtesy of Kellyanne Conway via Twitter.