Obama pal Eric Whitaker: No, I didn’t bribe Rev. Wright not to preach in 2008

posted at 7:43 pm on June 1, 2012 by Allahpundit

I figured Jake Tapper was our only hope of big media taking an interest in a story about a giant bribe allegedly being made on behalf of a now-sitting president to his uber-controversial former pastor. And sure enough, he has:

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.

You don’t have to take Klein’s word that Wright identified Whitaker as the friend of O who offered him money. He played the audio of their conversation about this two weeks ago on “Hannity.” Watch both clips below in full if you have time, but if not, there are two key bits. The first comes in the first video at 6:10 and runs to 6:50. At first, Wright doesn’t name Whitaker as the source of the alleged bribe but when Klein offers his name, Wright confirms that it was him. In the second clip, start at the beginning and go to 1:12 to hear Wright explain how “Eric” allegedly sent the offer not to Wright himself but to someone in his inner circle with instructions that it be passed along to “Rev.”

Only two possibilities here. One: Klein’s perpetrating some sort of grand fraud, replete with doctored audio. If he was going to do that, though, wouldn’t he have doctored it to make the offer come from Obama himself so that he had a truly sensational phony scoop on his hands? And why hasn’t Wright come forward, fuming with indignation over a conversation that never happened? Two: Whitaker’s either lying about not having made a bribe or he’s using some sort of Clintonian semantic parsing so that he can respond “truthfully” to questions about it now. E.g., maybe he’ll say he didn’t offer Wright a bribe, he offered him a gift. Or, because he allegedly sent the offer to one of Wright’s associates instead of to Wright himself, technically he never offered him anything. The only way to settle this, obviously, is for the media to put pressure on Wright to speak up and either confirm Klein’s audio or challenge its authenticity. The fact that he hasn’t spoken up in Whitaker’s defense so far even though major righty media figures like Hannity are covering this is telling, but not determinative. Why the silence? And why isn’t the media demanding clarification?

One question for Klein too, though. Tapper writes that, at ABC’s request, Klein’s publisher provided tapes of his chat with Wright — but they didn’t include the part where the two talked about Whitaker. Why not? He’s got a major scoop here and suddenly a prominent reporter is interested in publicizing it. Why not lay to rest any doubts about what was said by letting Tapper hear the full audio?




Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Whitaker is using lawyer-speak. In Chicago, it’s not a “bribe”, it’s “business as usual”.

SouthernGent on June 1, 2012 at 7:46 PM

yeah riiiiiiiiiight!

KOOLAID2 on June 1, 2012 at 7:49 PM

Why not a polygraph? I will pay for it.

hillsoftx on June 1, 2012 at 7:49 PM

Rev. Wright did not respond to numerous requests for comment.

Holder must have gotten to him for this round.

Schadenfreude on June 1, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Phew! I’m glad that’s cleared up.

I figured Jake Tapper was our only hope of big media taking an interest in a story about a giant bribe allegedly being made on behalf of a now-sitting president to his uber-controversial former pastor.

My question is, why was Jake Tapper the only one to take an interest in this story?

BKeyser on June 1, 2012 at 7:51 PM

The Rev. Wright will speak bef. Nov. 6, unless he goes the way of Breitbart’s first coroner.

Last time he was demeaned and thrown under the bus.

Now, he’s made into a Liar.

Get lots of popcorn.

Schadenfreude on June 1, 2012 at 7:53 PM

One question for Klein too, though. Tapper writes that, at ABC’s request, Klein’s publisher provided tapes of his chat with Wright — but they didn’t include the part where the two talked about Whitaker. Why not? He’s got a major scoop here and suddenly a prominent reporter is interested in publicizing it. Why not lay to rest any doubts about what was said by letting Tapper hear the full audio?

Maybe he’s holding out for a full-blown author interview. THEN he’ll bring whatever clip they want; not before.

RBMN on June 1, 2012 at 7:53 PM

ATA to Whitaker: Wanna get away?

herm2416 on June 1, 2012 at 7:53 PM

My question is, why was Jake Tapper the only one to take an interest in this story?

BKeyser on June 1, 2012 at 7:51 PM

You don’t really mean that as a question, do you?!

oldroy on June 1, 2012 at 7:54 PM

The wheels on the bus go round and round….round and round….round and round…..

KMC1 on June 1, 2012 at 7:55 PM

Why the silence?

Threats and “stick with us, brother, for the greater cause, first black president and all”

And why isn’t the media demanding clarification?

Because they eat Obama’s caca and mistake it for Beluga caviar.

Schadenfreude on June 1, 2012 at 7:56 PM

Let’s go to the videotape cardboard box with the bribe/email and take a looksee at the IP address of the briber.

I understand Beck’s offered to match the $150,000. Wright can sing all that he wants…just hand over the box.

Resist We Much on June 1, 2012 at 7:56 PM

” . . . depends on what the meaning of the word is, is . . .”.

BigAlSouth on June 1, 2012 at 8:01 PM

I am not a birth-er/truth-er/Palins womb conspiracy theorist however I question the timing. ;)

Since the announcement was made after the Edwards not guilty/hung jury trial and not after the questions were first asked.

/s

F15Mech on June 1, 2012 at 8:04 PM

CAIAPHAS

Think of the things you could do with that money,
Choose any charity – give to the poor.
We’ve noted your motives.
We’ve noted your feelings.
This isn’t blood money – it’s a …

ANNAS

A fee.

CAIAPHAS

A fee nothing more.

From the song “Blood Money”, from the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar”

malclave on June 1, 2012 at 8:05 PM

One: Klein’s perpetrating some sort of grand fraud, replete with doctored audio.

Nah. Only Brietbart and Giles do shite like that/upyereastside

bettycooper on June 1, 2012 at 8:07 PM

I thought the legacy media had already ignored this story..?

d1carter on June 1, 2012 at 8:08 PM

It’s just good old revisionism and well, I said it but I didn’t doubletalk.

stukinIL4now on June 1, 2012 at 8:12 PM

It all depends on what your definition of what a bribe is is.

farsighted on June 1, 2012 at 8:19 PM

The impertinent Punk in Chief

Schadenfreude on June 1, 2012 at 8:20 PM

farsighted on June 1, 2012 at 8:19 PM

Dat’s what I’m sayin!

BigAlSouth on June 1, 2012 at 8:22 PM

Two: Whitaker’s either lying about not having made a bribe or he’s using some sort of Clintonian semantic parsing so that he can respond “truthfully” to questions about it now. E.g., maybe he’ll say he didn’t offer Wright a bribe, he offered him a gift. Or, because he allegedly sent the offer to one of Wright’s associates instead of to Wright himself, technically he never offered him anything

I’m having flashbacks of Monica Lewinsky job offers, Linda Tripp, Vernon Jordan…

Why the silence? And why isn’t the media demanding clarification?

A rhetorical question I presume.

Buy Danish on June 1, 2012 at 8:23 PM

Whitaker was only offering to make a “contribution” if Wright re-ordered his preaching priorities in a more productive direction that was in the best interests of his flock. What’s wrong with that?

farsighted on June 1, 2012 at 8:29 PM

It’s only a bribe if Rev. Wrong accepts it.

RoadRunner on June 1, 2012 at 8:31 PM

Did you really just put Obama & Reverend Wright in the same headline

drivingtheview on June 1, 2012 at 8:31 PM

I vote for semantic parsing. His denial is worded a little to precisely.

“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 did not offer a bribe. He does not deny he offered to convey a sum of money to Wright.

mbs on June 1, 2012 at 8:33 PM

Barrack KNOWS what it’s like to live in a land run by RICH. WHITE. PEEPLE!

Lanceman on June 1, 2012 at 8:35 PM

Whitaker’s either lying about not having made a bribe or he’s using some sort of Clintonian semantic parsing so that he can respond “truthfully” to questions about it now.

Ding, ding, ding!!

You win the prize!!!!

ButterflyDragon on June 1, 2012 at 8:37 PM

Eric Whitaker sittin in a tree with Val Jar and ….

Why does Eric Whitaker want to kill poor black people?

Key West Reader on June 1, 2012 at 8:37 PM

What we need is for some GOP House Committee with jurisdiction to subpoena Whitaker, put him under oath, and ask him. And do it in September.

OhioCoastie on June 1, 2012 at 8:37 PM

“Eric” allegedly sent the offer not to Wright himself but to someone in his inner circle with instructions that it be passed along to “Rev.”

Well isn’t that sufficient CYA? The two men never actually spoke, so even if it did happen there’s no way of proving it. One guy’s word against another’s.

Go RBNY on June 1, 2012 at 8:38 PM

Did you really just put Obama & Reverend Wright in the same headline

drivingtheview on June 1, 2012 at 8:31 PM

Ole Re-run write turned down $150k to shut up about Oblahblah. What will he do for $150M?

Key West Reader on June 1, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Look long and hard and you won’t find three sleazier characters anywhere near the White House, at least since the last Democrat President.

Jaibones on June 1, 2012 at 8:39 PM

“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.”

It wasn’t a BRIBE bribe; it was a gift. And it wasn’t during the campaign; it was outside of the formal campaign process and conducted by someone not officially paid full-time to do nothing but campaign in 2008.

Technically.

/DemSpeak

OhioCoastie on June 1, 2012 at 8:42 PM

If the author is worht his salt, he’ll play the tapes.

He’ll probably be kilt, but he’ll play those tapes.

Key West Reader on June 1, 2012 at 8:42 PM

Whitaker’s either lying about not having made a bribe or he’s using some sort of Clintonian semantic parsing so that he can respond “truthfully” to questions about it now.

door #2 monty

cmsinaz on June 1, 2012 at 8:46 PM

There’s a reason nearly all pinko leaders go thru Law School. If you don’t understand, then you’re unable to know your enemy. Must think like them.

John Kettlewell on June 1, 2012 at 8:50 PM

Obama pal Eric Whitaker: No, I didn’t bribe Rev. Wright not to preach in 2008

Of course not, this was simply an attempt to make a donation.

rukiddingme on June 1, 2012 at 8:58 PM

It’s only a bribe if Rev. Wrong accepts it.

RoadRunner on June 1, 2012 at 8:31 PM

Under the Model Penal Code, and often, the punishment for attempted bribery and completed bribery are identical. Solicitation of a bribe also constitutes a crime and is completed regardless of whether the solicitation results in the receipt of a valuable gift.

In actuality, I am not sure that the offer constitutes a bribe because Wright was not a public official; however, there may be a complication under campaign finance law that changes an offer in the inducement into a crime.

If a man came to Wright with a monetary offer in exchange for him not testifying at the Rezko trial about certain things, that would be attempted or actual bribery, plus obstruction of justice.

Resist We Much on June 1, 2012 at 9:03 PM

eplete with doctored audio.

Nah. Only Brietbart and Giles do shite like that/upyereastside

bettycooper on June 1, 2012 at 8:07 PM

Like NBC’s George Zimmerman tapes?

Resist We Much on June 1, 2012 at 9:05 PM

oldroy on June 1, 2012 at 7:54 PM

Correction: “My rhetorical question…” with heavy sarcasm. :)

BKeyser on June 1, 2012 at 9:06 PM

Well, of course, Whitaker wouldn’t characterize the money as a bribe, much less call it one. Besides, he approached someone from Wright’s “inner circle,” thus allowing for plausible deniability.

onlineanalyst on June 1, 2012 at 9:31 PM

i think Ap is right,….semantic parsing and splitting hairs.

ted c on June 1, 2012 at 9:39 PM

As Blago would say… “There’s nothing wrong with this. It’s business as usual. Everyone does it”.

farsighted on June 1, 2012 at 9:40 PM

Bribe is such a crass word, AP. OG Choomy prefers the term “bakshish.”

Christien on June 1, 2012 at 9:49 PM

Bribe is such a crass word, AP. OG Choomy prefers the term “bakshish.”

Christien on June 1, 2012 at 9:49 PM

Or “interception”.

Buy Danish on June 1, 2012 at 9:57 PM

My crock alert is sounding. Dollars to dog droppings this is one of those “parsing” things.

Mason on June 1, 2012 at 9:57 PM

And why hasn’t Wright come forward,

Drone bait?

Don L on June 2, 2012 at 8:28 AM

O-bots sweating blood

Rev is a loose cannon, probably set to go off before the election. Question is how big a boom has he decided to make. Does he want to take him out, or just damage him enough to teach him a lesson?

petefrt on June 2, 2012 at 8:53 AM

I don’t think Wright will “sing”, but he won’t offer a retraction. I don’t agree with much of anything that Wright believes in, but I don’t think he’s a liar, and I do think he’s been stung by Obama’s betrayal enough to not bother to lift a finger to help. As for Whitaker, he sent the offer to the intermediary to avoid having to admit to making the offer to Wright, even though Wright was the designee.

tpitman on June 2, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Since Obama and his administration are incapable of the truth then Whitaker bribing Wright is not even a bump in the road.

volsense on June 2, 2012 at 11:15 AM