Some may have missed that, on Friday, Obama close friend and confidante Eric Whitaker denied to ABC News that he offered a bribe to Rev. Jeremiah Wright to stop speaking during the 2008 presidential campaign. Recordings of bestselling author Ed Klein’s interview with Wright were provided to ABC (they have been provided to other media outlets as well upon request), and Wright clearly acknowledges Whitaker as the person who, he says, initiated a bribe attempt through an email to a parishioner at Wright’s church. Wright says he has the email in a cardboard box he has kept along with other 2008 campaign items. It took over two weeks, and several media inquiries, for Whitaker to respond to the allegation – the audio was first aired on May 16th on the Sean Hannity Show. Whitaker is as close to President Obama as anyone can be, having spent the last several Christmases and summer vacations with the First Family. Klein’s The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House, in which the bribe allegation was first revealed, debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list yesterday, it will stay at #1 this coming Sunday.
One of President Obama’s closest friends denied to ABC News a charge against him made by the president’s former spiritual adviser, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
In a new book by conservative author Ed Klein, The Amateur, Rev. Jeremiah Wright says “after the media went ballistic on me, I received an email offering me money not to preach at all until the November presidential election.”
The friend is not named in the book, but on his media tour, Klein has said the individual about whom Wright made the allegation is Eric Whitaker, a close Obama friend since graduate school and from Chicago, and Associate Dean and Executive Vice President of the University of Chicago Medical Center.
In an email to ABC News responding to Wright’s charge, Whitaker wrote: “I have received your message asking whether I’d offered any sort of a bribe during the 2008 campaign. The answer is no. Thank you for giving me the chance to respond.” He didn’t respond to a follow-up question.
Rev. Wright did not respond to numerous requests for comment.