Raising Up A Standard

Jeremiah Wright: Barack Obama ‘Steeped in Islam’

Jeremiah Wright on Obama's Faith ... and Perhaps Being 'Steeped in Islam'

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: Here is author Ed Klein. We will do what the mainstream media will not do, we will play the tapes of his recent interview with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

And joining us now is Ed Klein, the author of this controversial new book, "The Amateur." Let's start at the very beginning, about the day he announced he was going to run for president and he was going to give the invocation and the President called to tell him what topics to talk about. My name came up in this moment. But we will run this tape.


REV. JEREMIAH WRIGHT, TRINITY UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST: Black clergy got scared because of O'Reilly and Hannity and cancelled their meeting with me. So (INAUDIBLE) Barack called.


WRIGHT: This is the day before the announcement.

KLEIN: Before, which announcement?

WRIGHT: In Springfield. That he was running for the presidency. And he called -- when he called. He called to warn me that -- I mean not a negative warning, the first time, the first call was not a negative warning. He said, Axelrod is going to call you because we are going to Iowa tomorrow and in your invocation, I was going to do the invocation the next morning. Don't say anything that would upset Iowa farmers. If anything, talk about my ability as a community organizer to reach all kinds of people. I said, I got it. I got it.


HANNITY: So, the day before President Obama announces he's running for president, Reverend Wright gets a call, he was given the invocation up to that day.

KLEIN: Yes. He was supposed to be the reverend, the minister --

HANNITY: His pastor.

KLEIN: His pastor was going to give the invocation for the entire ceremony.

HANNITY: And he's getting instructions from President Obama what to say and not say.

KLEIN: That's right.

HANNITY: Yes. Don't anger the Iowa farmers.

KLEIN: Don't scare the white guys in Iowa.

HANNITY: Is that what you think he meant by that?

KLEIN: I'm sure he did.

HANNITY: Yes. All right. Now, from that point, he got another call from President Obama. And then he got dis-invited. Now listen to this part of the tape.


WRIGHT: At 4:30, the phone rang again. I said, hello? He said, Rev, this is Barack. He said, Rolling Stone has gotten cold on one of your sermons, it's in the weekend edition. And they have already given it to Hillary's people. It's a big mess. And well you know, he could be kind of over the top at times. And David thinks it's best that you not do the invocation tomorrow. Because if you go out in front of the public and you are going to become the focus, you are going to become the media focus and all the attention will be deflected away from my announcing the candidacy and that's a starring moment.


HANNITY: You know what I took out of that? You can kind of be over the top at times. I guess the President have to be in there -- really did know what Jeremiah Wright thought.

KLEIN: Of course, he did. He knew more than what he even said in the church because he and the Reverend Wright met numerous times in his private office, and he knew exactly what he stood for.

HANNITY: All right. So, now what's interesting about this, so he has denied the invocation. He gives the prayer with the family, underneath. Now, we talked about how that Reverend Wright has this box, with an email, with an offer to buy his silence from a close confidante of the president, Eric Whittaker. He didn't name him in the book, but it's mentioned in the tapes.

All right. Moving on from that because we played that -- you ask if Obama knew that Whittaker offered the money. Now, he doesn't give the answer that I would suspect. But here's what he said.


KLEIN: How long have you had the tape?

WRIGHT: I would say now --

KLEIN: Was he aware that Eric Whittaker had offered you money?

WRIGHT: I don't know. I didn't mention that.

KLEIN: But he asked you not to appear at the NAACP or the National Press Club.
WRIGHT: National Press Club.

KLEIN: Those two things?

WRIGHT: And, no, don't do no more public speaking.

KLEIN: And don't do any more public speaking.

WRIGHT: Anymore!

KLEIN: When did you say then?

WRIGHT: I said, how am I supposed to support my family? I have a daughter and a granddaughter in college, whose tuitions I pay.

KLEIN: Right.

WRIGHT: I have to earn money. The press is going to eat you alive.


HANNITY: But interestingly, Jeremiah Wright did not take the money.

KLEIN: He did not take the money.

HANNITY: He was offered it.


HANNITY: Do you think it's possible that Whittaker could have made that offer just independently on his own?



KLEIN: Because I don't think Whittaker would have done something as important as that without -- first of all, he was a confidante of Barack Obama's. I mean, they were as close as brothers could be. And I don't think he would have done something as dramatic as offering $150,000 bribe without checking with his pal, Barack, and saying, maybe we should do something about silencing this minister.

HANNITY: It's interesting because later, it sounds like when Barack met with Reverend Wright in the secret meeting that Reverend Wright thought he might be being taped at that point.

KLEIN: That's right. He wondered if Barack Obama was wired.


KLEIN: And Wright actually explains Obama had to distance himself. He was toxic, I think that's the way Wright describes himself. Look for all these tapes.


WRIGHT: I'm on record. The year before he ran, saying that he would have to distance himself from me. Then I knew as a politician, if he is going to play the political game, he's going to distance himself from me. If you want to get elected, you want some votes -- I am toxic.


HANNITY: And this goes to that meeting where, you know, that he says to -- where Obama says to him, you know, your problem is, you have to tell the truth.

KLEIN: That's right.


KLEIN: I mean, the whole thing is, as you say, a very shrewd and subtle disassembling of Barack Obama in front of me and describing him and showing him as the -- this kind of a sleazy politician that --

HANNITY: He goes into this. You asked him. Has he changed since he's been elected? And Wright's answer is, yes, he has.

KLEIN: He has.

HANNITY: Listen to this.


WRIGHT: He's a politician. When I said that, people got upset. And a politician has a different set of principles.

KLEIN: But you just said he was a man of integrity and heart?

WRIGHT: Before he got in that circle.

KLEIN: Which circle?

WRIGHT: That circle of -- once you get in that -- sucked into that world.

KLEIN: -- In Springfield or later on?

WRIGHT: No, at the national level.


HANNITY: He was a man of integrity, of heart, of principles. But Reverend Wright, in this interview, knowing an important re-election is coming up and saying, he is no longer --

KLEIN: No longer that man. No longer the man that you thought he was in 2008, the public thought he was in 2008. He has changed. He has become a different person.

HANNITY: Now, Wright did say that Obama told him that, quote, "they don't want a black man with his finger on the nuclear trigger." He is quoting Barack Obama on that, right?

KLEIN: Yes. Right.

HANNITY: Listen to this.


WRIGHT: I remember, he said this to me, they don't want a black man with his finger on the nuclear trigger. That's what they want.

KLEIN: They don't.

WRIGHT: They don't.

KLEIN: They don't want a black man with his finger on the nuclear trigger.
WRIGHT: And that's what being the president of the United States means.KLEIN: That's right.

WRIGHT: And that's why there is so much hatred. And that's why -- well, you say that now, but you are elected and you are in that circle. You sit in the war room and watch. That's when justice has been done. That's a professional hit. That's an assassination.

KLEIN: He said that in the living room?

WRIGHT: No, no, no, I am saying that to you now. Hey! You just sit in your war room with Hillary and Michelle and whoever else and watch with the cameras on the helmet of the Navy SEALs, that's a professional hit! Could it be that you don't want him telling what he knows. Why -- why murder? That's not justice! That's murder.

KLEIN: Assassination.

WRIGHT: Assassination.

KLEIN: Right.

WRIGHT: That is not the Barack -- and that's not the Barack I knew. That's not the Barack I knew across the years, that's not the Barack I know before he got political aspirations.


HANNITY: Again, that's not the same Barack. But more importantly, what does this reveal about the President's views on race? Do you think? What was he trying to communicate there? You were there with him?

KLEIN: Well, it was pretty clear to me that the President was saying that if he allied himself with the Reverend Wright, who was perceived as this angry black man, that the white electorate would be afraid to turn over to him the position of commander in chief in charge of nuclear weapons.

HANNITY: All right. Coming up, more of my interview with Ed Klein, some fascinating stuff coming up after the break. I am going to ask him why he -- meaning Klein, referred to me as a right-wing crazy. This answer may surprise you. Later on tonight, after Jon Lovitz made headlines with his vicious tirade against President Obama. And now in a shocking twist, he's receiving calls of support from his Hollywood friends. He's here to explain why. And did Mitt Romney make the wrong decision by saying that Wright should be off limits? That and more coming up tonight on HANNITY.



HANNITY: And welcome back to HANNITY. Here is more of my exclusive interview with author Ed Klein on the tapes of him and his interview with Reverend Wright.
All right. He wouldn't take back the issue, this is the Sunday after 9/11, America's chickens, I'm home to roost. Wouldn't take it back.


HANNITY: Let's roll the tape.


KLEIN: If you had to do it over again, would you give that same sermon?
WRIGHT: Which sermon?

KLEIN: The one that was just

WRIGHT: That was eight years ago. No! That sermon was 10 years ago.

KLEIN: Ten years ago.

WRIGHT: It was a Sunday afternoon. Two different subjects, the sermon where I quoted what I heard on CNN that the Iraqi ambassador said maybe America's chickens are coming home to roost. They put those words in my mouth. I need to stop quoting people.

KLEIN: Right.

WRIGHT: That was preached 10 years ago! Nine-one-six-01. No, I wouldn't take it back. It's like taking back stuff I have been preaching since 1959.


HANNITY: He won't take it back.

KLEIN: No. He's actually doing two things in this interview, he's taking apart Barack Obama.

HANNITY: And defending himself.

KLEIN: .and defending himself.

HANNITY: Yes. Interesting. All right. Now, you did ask, because this issue comes up about when he became a Christian. He tells a story and -- for my father about how we found the black value system and he was reading it and he was fortified by tapes of Reverend Wright. I mean, very familiar with Reverend Wright.


HANNITY: And you asked about the issue. He did also talk in one of his books about, you know, how he did study the Koran and et cetera and that prayer at sunset was one of the most beautiful things in the world. But when he was a kid and you asked Wright if he thought that Barack Obama at some point was a Muslim and this is the answer of Reverend Wright.


KLEIN: Do you think he ever thought of himself as Muslim?



WRIGHT: Yes. It's like. I am sure he got some grief not politicizing grief, but some grief from that part of his family. And I say that based on my wide range of Muslim friends.


HANNITY: What do you think of that?

KLEIN: Well, I was very interested in another part of that, as well, which is, when I asked the Reverend Wright about this whole question of Islam and Christianity. He said, well, you know, Barack Obama was steeped in Islam. He knew a lot about Islam from his childhood. But he knew very little about Christianity. And I made it easy for him to feel not guilty about learning about Christianity without turning his back on his Islamic friends?

HANNITY: What does that mean?

KLEIN: So then I said to him, well, did you convert him from --

HANNITY: You did ask him that. I remember.

KLEIN: Yes. I said, did you convert him? He said, it's hard to tell.

HANNITY: Interesting. Because, you know, anyone that ever -- you know brought up the fact, he did say in his book that he studied the Koran. OK. He studied the Koran.

KLEIN: All right.

HANNITY: He didn't say he was a Muslim. He did say the prayer at sunset was beautiful. He doesn't say he was a Muslim. But if you bring it up -- the right wing is trying to say, you know. But, all right, I have one last question for you. You do pander throughout this interview --

KLEIN: Yes, do I.

HANNITY: To Reverend Wright.


HANNITY: You suck up to him big time.

KLEIN: Right?

HANNITY: And I didn't know if you meant it. And then at one point, you even attacked me in this interview, which I was a little surprised to hear. But I will let you explain yourself, in fairness. We will let everybody hear that as well.


KLEIN: The right-wing crazies like O'Reilly, Hannity, Glenn Beck -- I could give you a thousand of them accuse Barack Obama of -- now I am just quoting them now, as having, quote, "Sat in the Trinity United Church for 20 years, listening to the Reverend Jeremiah Wright." And how could he have done that without being, quote, "infected with" -- and I am quoting now -- because I don't believe. I want you to understand that -- with his, the Reverend's anti-American, anti-Semitic, anti -- you know, basically anti-white point of view.


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