That answer was quickly mocked by conservatives. The Drudge Report, a conservative news website, called it a presidential “flip-flop.”
Carney said the men have not seen each other in two decades or spoken in about 10 years. Carney also said president did not intervene in his uncle’s case — “absolutely zero interference.” The Boston Globe reported that critics have raised questions about the way immigration authorities handled the case, allowing Onyango Obama’s release and giving him a work permit during his appeal.
Police said after the drunk driving arrest he told them, “I think I will call the White House.” Asked by a prosecutor about the exchange, he said he might have said that but couldn’t recall. The prosecutor also said Onyango Obama had lied to authorities about having a green card.
The charge was dismissed after he completed a year of probation and 14 weeks of alcohol education classes.
Judge Leonard Shapiro granted the elder Obama permanent residency status following testimony that he had lived quietly, was employed and has been active in his community, helping fellow Africans immigrate and find jobs.
“He appears to me to be a gentleman,” the judge said.
Onyango Obama, who says he holds a philosophy degree from Boston University, told Shapiro he had not returned to Kenya since arriving in the U.S. and would find it difficult to return there after so many years.