Former President Barack Obama did not return to his father’s birthplace in Kenya this week despite an online report he was there on a secret trip.
Rumors about the former president’s whereabouts began swirling online after New York Magazine published a piece asking “Where is Barack Obama?” Big League Politics, a news website, suggested Obama had traveled to Kenya secretly before a scheduled trip in July, perhaps to deal with “controversy surrounding the legitimacy of his birth certificate and country of his birth.” False reports that Obama was born in Kenya have been debunked. Obama first released a copy of his Hawaiian birth certificate in 2008, followed by the release of a more detailed birth certificate in 2011.
Obama’s personal office confirmed to The Associated Press in a phone call Friday that he is not in Kenya. Obama was most recently seen Thursday where he attended a Democratic National Committee fundraiser. He was scheduled to attend a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser Friday in San Francisco.
Obama is scheduled to visit Kenya July 15 and 16 and South Africa on July 16 through 19. In Kenya, Obama will meet with the country’s leaders and speak at the inauguration of a sports, resource and training center created by the Sauti Kuu Foundation, which was founded by his sister Auma Obama.
Online reports that Obama will be traveling with Oprah during his July trip to Kenya are also not true, according to his personal office.
While visiting South Africa, Obama will meet with President Cyril Ramaphosa before delivering a lecture in honor of the late Nelson Mandela. He also will hold a live-streamed town hall on July 18 for the 200 selected Obama Foundation Leaders in Africa.
Attempts to reach Big League Politics were not successful.
This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.
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