A new, unauthorized biography of President Obama by Edward Klein claims supporters close to then-candidate Barack Obama attempted to pay off firebrand minister Jeremiah Wright during the 2004 campaign.

At the time, Wright’s angry, often anti-American sermons were threatening to do serious damage to Obama’s candidacy. Obama was ultimately forced to confront it by formally leaving Wright’s church and talking about race in a major speech.

Writing in the New York Post, Klein quotes extensively from an interview in which Wright describes the attempt to buy him off. The deal was to keep Wright from preaching and out of the media spotlight until the election.

‘Man, the media ate me alive,” Wright told Klein. “After the media went ballistic on me, I received an e-mail offering me money not to preach at all until the November presidential election.”

“Who sent the e-mail?” Klein asked Wright.

“It was from one of Barack’s closest friends.”

“He offered you money?”