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Walker concedes giving check to ex-partner, denies knowing it was for abortion

Georgia Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker has experienced a string of bad campaign moments in mid-October, with the midterm elections coming up. (Video: The Washington Post)
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Georgia Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker acknowledged giving a $700 check to his then-partner in 2009, but in an interview broadcast Monday, he continued to deny the woman’s claim that the money was provided to pay for an abortion.

Shown images of a receipt from an abortion clinic and a check dated days later with his name, Walker said, “Yes, that’s my check,” during the interview that aired on NBC’s “Today Show.”

Walker said it was his signature on the check but rejected the allegation from the woman, who is the mother of one of Walker’s children, that it was to pay for an abortion.

“It’s a lie,” said Walker, who has opposed abortion in all cases as a Senate candidate. “Prove that I did that. Just to show me things like that does nothing for me.”

He also said he has “no idea what that could be for” when presented with a copy of the check.

Asked why voters should trust him, Walker said, “I’ve been very transparent about everything I’ve done.”

GOP crisis in Herschel Walker race was nearly two years in the making

The woman said that Walker paid for her to have an abortion in 2009 and that he ended a relationship with her in 2011 after she refused to have the procedure again. The woman has told The Washington Post that reports in the Daily Beast, which first reported the story, and the New York Times accurately described her experiences. She spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect her privacy and that of her child, who is now 10.

“She is the mother of my child,” Walker said in the interview, suggesting the money was to cover expenses. However, the child was born years after the abortion.

Walker has denied that he paid for an abortion or knew about one at the time. The woman and one of Walker’s adult children by a different woman have accused him of failing to be present as a father.

On Oct. 11, supporters for anti-abortion Georgia Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker defended him against allegations that he once funded the procedure. (Video: Blair Guild, Joyce Koh/The Washington Post)

Walker has campaigned as an opponent of abortion in all cases, including rape, incest and to protect the life of the mother. He also has endorsed a proposal by Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) for a federal ban on abortion at 15 weeks.

But Walker has shifted his position in recent days while insisting that he hasn’t changed his views.

During his debate with Sen. Raphael G. Warnock (D-Ga.) on Friday night, Walker said he supported a Georgia abortion ban with exceptions. But days later, he denied that he was reversing his “no exception in my mind” stance.

“I will always support life, but I also support what the people’s voice is,” Walker said. “The people’s voice is the Georgia heartbeat bill, which has exceptions in it. Well, I’m a senator for the people. And I said, one of the problems we have [is that] senators in Washington forgot about the people who put them there.”

In the NBC interview, which was conducted over the weekend, Walker also defended pulling out a sheriff’s badge during a debate Friday, calling the badge “legit.”

“This is from my hometown. This is from Johnson County, from the sheriff from Johnson County, which is a legit badge,” Walker said in the NBC interview.

Walker displayed the badge — which apparently is honorary in nature — during Friday’s debate after Warnock said that Walker had “pretended to be a police officer,” a reference to claims by Walker about working with the FBI and a local police department.

Rather than verbally responding, Walker pulled out the badge, drawing a rebuke from a moderator for using a prop, which was not allowed under debate rules.

“Everyone can make fun, but this badge gives me the right … if anything happened in this county, I have the right to work with the police in getting things done,” Walker said in the NBC interview.

“I never embellish,” Walker added. “I’ve never done it. I work in law enforcement.”

On Monday, talking to reporters as he voted early in the race in Atlanta, Warnock cited the episode with the badge and several other examples of Walker embellishing his past that have been documented in news stories.

“He … claimed to be a police officer. He’s not,” Warnock said. “Claimed to work for the FBI, clearly did not. Claimed to be a college graduate, he’s not. Claimed to be a valedictorian of his class, he was not. Claimed to have 800 employees in his business, he has eight. Claimed to have started a business that does not even exist. So I guess he expects the people of Georgia now to hallucinate and imagine that he is also a United States senator. He’s clearly not ready.”

“The people of Georgia deserve a serious person to represent them at serious times,” Warnock said. “I’m committed to doing that work. I’ve been very transparent about my life.”

The 2022 Midterm Elections

Georgia runoff election: Sen. Raphael G. Warnock (D) won re-election in the Georgia Senate runoff, defeating Republican challenger Herschel Walker and giving Democrats a 51st seat in the Senate for the 118th Congress. Get live updates here and runoff results by county.

Divided government: Republicans narrowly won back control of the House, while Democrats will keep control of the Senate, creating a split Congress.

What the results mean for 2024: A Republican Party red wave seems to be a ripple after Republicans fell short in the Senate and narrowly won control in the House. Donald Trump announced his 2024 presidential campaign shortly after the midterms. Here are the top 10 2024 presidential candidates for the Republicans and Democrats.