Wright: I wasn't talking about Jews, just Zionists

President Obama's former pastor walks back remarks about why he can't talk to the president, but trips on the way

By Alex Koppelman

Published June 11, 2009 10:01PM (EDT)

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, President Obama's former pastor, now says he misspoke when he told a Virginia paper "Them Jews aren't going to let [Obama] talk to me." Really, he says, he was just talking about "Zionists." For some reason, though, his attempted clarification, which he delivered on a Sirius radio show, rings just a bit hollow.

"Let me say like Hillary, I misspoke,” Wright said. “Let me just say: Zionists... I’m not talking about all Jews, all people of the Jewish faith, I’m talking about Zionists."

Wright went on to say, "They can jump on that one phrase if they want to,” Wright said, “but they can’t, they can’t undo history. They can’t undo the facts of Jewish historians and Jewish theologians who write about what’s going on, who write about the enormous influence that AIPAC has on our government and on United States policy and the United Nations."

As ABC News' Jake Tapper notes, Wright didn't identify the "they" in that statement.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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