Photos show passport of Barack Obama Sr., not former president

CLAIM: Photos posted by former President Barack Obama’s half-brother show a passport issued to Obama that proves that he was born in Nairobi, Kenya.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Malik Obama did post photos of an old British passport, but he confirmed in an email to The Associated Press that the passport belonged to their father, Barack Obama Sr., not the former president. Details in the passport, which was issued several years before the younger Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, match that of Barack Obama Sr.

THE FACTS: Malik Obama posted three photos of an old British passport on Twitter Tuesday and a subsequent photo on Wednesday that included the passport’s photo page. While he did not claim in the posts that the passport belonged to his half-brother, claims quickly spread on social media that the images prove that the former president was born outside the U.S.

“Malik Obama is dropping docs proving Barack Obama was born in Nairobi, Kenya and was thus a FAKE and ILLEGITIMATE President,” one Twitter user wrote Wednesday in a tweet that was shared more than 6,000 times. The photos and claims also spread on TikTok, Facebook, and Gettr, a social media platform marketed to conservatives.

The photos feature the passport of the former president’s father, Barack Obama Sr., Malik Obama confirmed in an email to the AP. Photos of the passport also appear in a book about Barack Obama Sr. that was co-authored by Malik Obama.

“It’s my father’s old passport,” he wrote.

The passport, which states that it was issued in Nairobi, includes a photo of Barack Obama Sr. beside the word “Bearer.” Additionally, the passport was issued on April 29, 1959 — two years before the former president was born on Aug. 4, 1961.

The AP has reported on various false claims stemming from an old conspiracy theory that the former president was born in Kenya. For instance, social media users recently claimed that the former president is relocating to Kenya, which is false.


This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.