In a reversal of earlier statements, the White House acknowledged that President Obama did live with his Kenyan uncle in Cambridge Mass. for three weeks before he attended Harvard Law School.
This contradicts an earlier claim the administration that the two had never met.
There was a renewed scrutiny on the relationship between his paternal uncle Onyango Obama and the president, as the former faced a deportation hearing on Tuesday.
Onyango Obama revealed in his testimony that his nephew had lived with him for three weeks in Cambridge before attending school.
The White House said that the initial denial was a misunderstanding and the president was not informed of earlier questions about their relationship.
“Back when this arose, folks looked at the record, including the president’s book and there was no evidence they had met and that was what was conveyed. Nobody spoke to the president,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney.
"The president has not seen Omar [his nickname] Obama in 20 years and has not spoken with him in roughly 10," Carney said.
Carney said that it only came to President Obama's attention after hearing reports of his uncle's testimony.
Onyango Obama is the younger half-brother of President Obama's father, who died in a car crash when his son was 18.
He is the second Obama family member to face deportation.
Obama’s aunt Zeituni Onyango was ordered to leave in 2004 but she was granted asylum in 2010.