The Obama Rumors That Just Won’t Seem To Die

The Obama Rumors That Just Won't Seem To Die

Barack Obama’s citizenship

The Obama family has faced down tons of rumors over the years, some built on prejudice, others just downright puzzling. Here are the ones that won’t go away. Barack Hussein Obama II was born on August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii. That’s the reality. But to this day there are people who believe he’s not a U.S. citizen.

Rumors began to spread during the 2008 Democratic presidential primary and, surprisingly, were fueled by Democrats. As Politico uncovered, Hillary Clinton supporters first began sharing an anonymous email which suggested that Obama wasn’t eligible to run because he was not an American citizen.

The email alleged that Barack Obama’s mother was living in Kenya in her third trimester.

It added: “She was not allowed to travel by plane then, so Barack Obama was born there and his mother then took him to Hawaii to register his birth.” Ironically, the “birther” conspiracy really took off after the White House tried to debunk it by posting a copy of the real birth certificate online.

Critics called it fake and speculation ran so rampant that the director of Hawai’i’s State Department of Health had to vouch for its authenticity. “It was absolutely authentic and he was absolutely born here in the state of Hawaii.” Even that didn’t help.

Speculation over Obama’s citizenship continued for years and found new wind in 2011 thanks to Donald Trump.

“Why doesn’t he show his birth certificate?” “He doesn’t have a birth certificate.” “He released his birth certificate.” “You know, if you believe that, that’s fine.” Eventually, even Trump eventually conceded the rumors were false. “President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period.”

Over a decade later, the fake news is still spreading.

In 2023, AP had to debunk a resurfaced video from 2010, which was originally posted by a parody YouTube account. In the clip, different sound bites were edited in to make it sound like Obama was saying he’d been born in Kenya.

Michelle Obama’s gender

Was Michelle Obama born biologically male and named Michael? Of course not, but many people believe that to be the case. In 2019, a satirical website published a story claiming that Obama’s mother had died and left everything in her will to her son, Michael Robinson Obama.

The newspiece was widely circulated as truth and was somehow still gaining traction in 2022. For starters, Michelle Obama’s mother, Marian Shields Robinson, is still alive.

But that didn’t stop the rumor from spreading The theory again caught steam in 2023.

Republican Omar Navarro took to X to write: “Retweet if you think Michelle Obama is really a man.” At the same time, political commentator Terrence K. Williams posted a poll asking, “Do you believe this rumor that Michelle Obama is a man” Over 50 percent of respondents said yes.

Explaining why the theory has had such longevity, Newly Paul, an associate professor of print/digital media at the University of North Texas, told Snopes: “These claims will likely not go away. They seem rooted in spite, sexism, and racism, which fact-checks cannot cure.”

Barack Obama’s religion

Religious beliefs have nothing to do with a person’s qualifications for office, yet for some reason critics consistently tried to misreport and weaponize Barack Obama’s religion against him. While Obama is a practicing Christian, he was raised by a father and stepfather who were Muslim.

Stories that Obama was Muslim first appeared in 2004, per Pew Research Center, but really went viral during his presidential run. From social media to mainstream media, misinformation spread and morphed, eventually claiming Obama had attended a radical Muslim school while living in Indonesia between the ages of 6 and 10. In reality, the elementary school was a secular institution.

The school’s vice principal told the AP in 2007: “The allegations are completely baseless. Everyone’s welcome here — it’s a public school.” Obama also tried to debunk the falsehoods himself during a 2008 rally. “I’ve been a member of the same church for almost 20 years.

Praying to Jesus.” He also addressed claims that he was sworn into the Senate on a Quran.

Even so, in a 2014 poll conducted by The Washington Post, 54% of Republicans said they still believed Obama was Muslim.

Non-biological daughters

The youngest Obamas haven’t been immune from fake news. In 2017, a satirical article appeared online, falsely claiming that Barack and Michelle Obama were not Malia and Sasha’s real parents.

As Snopes reported while debunking the story, the outlet jokingly alleged that a man had filed a lawsuit stating he was the girls’ real biological father who had donated the sperm used to conceive the girls.

Soon, folks online were sharing the post like it was fact and analyzing images of the Obama sisters in an attempt to prove they looked nothing like their parents.

The strange conspiracy was further spread by Alex Jones, which probably didn’t surprise anyone.

Politifact tried to trace the roots of the rumor and found that it actually dates back to as early as 2013. That year, a blog post asked, “Where are Obama’s daughters’ baby pics and birth records?”

The author suggested there weren’t any and said that was proof that Malia and Sasha had different birth parents.

Since then, the false claim has continued to spread and has also been tied back to the conspiracy theory alleging Michelle Obama was born biologically male.

Barack Obama’s sexuality

In 2008, a man named Larry Sinclair came forward to claim he was Barack Obama’s former lover.

According to Sinclair, he met Obama in 1999 in Chicago, and they went on to do drugs together and have multiple sexual encounters.

As The Nation reported, the story soon morphed and evolved to include other so-called “sources” who spread outlandish claims, like that Obama liked to visit a gay bathhouse with his former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel.

As Poynter notes, political opponents also seized onto an old love letter written by Obama as proof of their claims.

Penned in 1982 and sent to his then-girlfriend, the note included a variety of philosophical musings from the future president, including one particular passage they saw as a smoking gun, which read: “I make love to men daily, but in the imagination. My mind is androgynous to a great extent and I hope to make it more so, until I can think of people, not women as opposed to men.”

The theory was still being widely circulated as of 2023. In fact, it was given new wings that year as Tucker Carlson actually interviewed Larry Sinclair, who again claimed he had an affair with Obama.

He also alleged that other men were involved, but they couldn’t speak up because they had all been killed on orders from Obama’s campaign. Needless to say, none of the claims have ever been corroborated by anyone else.

Malia Obama’s fake pregnancy

Malia Obama has done a great job of staying out of the public eye since leaving the White House. She graduated from Harvard with a degree in Visual and Environmental Studies in 2021 and has since started pursuing a Hollywood career as a director. However, despite her best efforts to remain low-key, she hasn‘t been totally immune to gossip. In fact, according to numerous rumors, she’s already been pregnant twice.

News of Malia’s fake pregnancy first circulated in 2014 when a hoax website shared a story about a then-16-year-old Malia expecting her first child. The outlet went as far as to publish invented quotes they alleged were made by both Michelle and Malia Obama and tons of folks fell for it.

It began to spread on social media and was given a further boost when a fake Facebook account impersonating Fox News also posted it.

Snopes quickly debunked the story, but in 2022, it happened again. This time, a satirical Instagram account created a post claiming that Malia was pregnant with her super secret boyfriend, rapper Future.

The Obamas’ move to Kenya

Given how many folks were convinced that Barack Obama was born in Kenya, it should have come as no surprise when just as many decided to believe that the former POTUS was moving to Kenya for good.

It all began when a major newspaper in Kenya called The Standard published an April Fools’ Day story in 2023, claiming that Obama had decided to leave America and settle down in the country.

While it did include a disclaimer that the article was purely satirical, folks chose to ignore that part and instead spread the article as if it were true.

AP swiftly debunked the news, but that didn’t stop it from spreading. Propagators of the fake news argued it made perfect sense, tying it back to the “birther” claims.

They also pointed out that the president had traveled to the country during his second term in 2015, then again in 2018.

Indeed, Obama enthused about his trips on Facebook, which only served to convince people further.

He wrote in 2018: “Kenya, of course, is the Obama ancestral home. I visited for the first time when I was in my twenties and I was profoundly influenced by my experiences.”

Not so influenced that he was ready to pack his bags and move there, though.

Secret sports team

From president to sports owner? Podcaster Bill Simmons nearly broke the internet when he alleged that Barack Obama was looking to buy the Phoenix Suns during a 2022 episode of his show.

Simmons explained that while Obama wouldn’t be a majority owner, he could easily be made the face of a group of rich investors who would buy the team together. And he, for one, thought it was a great idea. Well, the rumor wasn’t even remotely true. While on the campaign trail in Arizona, Obama set the record straight.

Also read : The Truth About JFK’s Oldest Grandkid, Rose Kennedy

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