Over the weekend, one of the many shocking allegations to come from Edward Klein’s controversial new book on Obama was the story that someone from the Obama camp tried to pay Rev. Jeremiah Wright — Obama’s controversial former pastor — $150k to keep quiet until after the 2008 election. Wright rejected the hush money. But we never knew who allegedly tried to pay Wright off.
In an interview with Sean Hannity on Monday, Klein revealed the identity of his money middle man — and he’s a doctor from Chicago.
“What happened is that after ABC’s Brian Ross broadcast the audiotapes –videotapes of the Rev. Wright God damning America and slamming whites and slamming Jews and America, he was contacted by one of Obama’s closest personal friends, a guy who travels on Obama’s plane, who plays basketball with him, who goes on vacations with him,” Klein told Hannity during Hannity’s radio show.
“I didn’t name him in the book, but I can tell you who he is. His name is Dr. Eric Whitaker. Dr. Whitaker is the vice president of the University of Chicago Medical Center and he’s a member of Obama’s very tight inner-circle. And he sent an email to a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ,” Klein said.
“Chicago politics is one hand feeds the other, as you know. And Eric Whitaker, a very close friend of the Obamas, sent an email to a member of the church saying that the Rev. Wright could get a $150,000 if he would shut up and not criticize Obama anymore,” Klein explained.
Wright rejected the offer, which Klein says prompted a secret visit from Obama just 10 days after he gave his famous race speech.
Klein, who has come under fire by the White House (a spokesman has called him a “liar), told Hannity he’s confident in his facts.
“Now we know that this is true, not only because the Rev. Wright told me so, but because the Secret Service logs logged in this meeting. So we have confirmation that it actually took place,” Klein said.
Want to know more about Whitaker? The Washington Post has a small biography:
A member of Barack Obama’s tight-knit circle of friends from Hyde Park in Chicago, Whitaker was a fixture on the 2008 presidential campaign trail, often sitting with Obama on the campaign plane, serving as a sounding board for the candidate and helping to keep him grounded with frequent basketball games.
Whitaker, who has been friends with Obama since both were in graduate school, works at the University of Chicago Medical Center, where Michelle Obama also worked.