Author shares audio of interview with Wright claiming he was offered money to stay quiet

In a recorded interview, a man identified as the Rev. Jeremiah Wright claimed that an associate of President Obama, through an intermediary, offered him money to stop preaching during the 2008 presidential campaign.

Portions of that interview with writer Edward Klein were aired Wednesday night on Fox News' "Hannity." Klein provided access to the tape to back up claims he makes in his book on Obama, "The Amateur."

In one interview clip, Wright told Klein he still has "an email offering me money not to preach at all between the explosion of the media in the first week in March and (the) November election."

Wright said the email came from "one of his friends." Asked if that individual was Eric Whitaker, a longtime friend of Obama, Wright said, "Yeah."

In another clip, Wright explained that the email was not sent directly from Whitaker, though he claimed Whitaker was the one who signed it. He said Whitaker sent the email to a member of the church "who sent it to me."

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    Klein teed up one other clip in which Wright was supposedly talking about a request from Obama when he was still a candidate.

    "He came to talk to me and said the same thing (Whitaker's email said) ... 'I really wish you would not do any more public speaking until November,'" he said.

    Whitaker is now vice president at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

    The White House has downplayed Wright's latest statements, questioning Klein's credibility.

    "The book that is the foundation (of the claims) is not one that I would read because I know that the author lacks ... a certain amount of credibility," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Thursday.

    He said he hasn't listened to the interview in question.

    "Some of these issues were featured ... in the 2008 campaign, much discussed," Carney said. "Right now, in 2012, we're focused on what the American people are focused on -- jobs, the economy, issues of national security."

    Wright's name also re-emerged this week over a reported plan to invoke his controversial sermons in anti-Obama ads. The conservative billionaire supposedly behind the ad, though, distanced himself from the plan Thursday and said through an aide it would not be moving forward.