Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker attempted in a series of interviews to explain the allegation that he paid for the abortion of one of his children’s mothers, but a litany of questions still remains.
On Monday, the Daily Beast reported it had evidence that Walker had paid for an abortion in 2009 for his then girlfriend. Walker denied the report and said he didn’t know the woman, but a follow-up report from the Daily Beast alleged that she is the mother of one of his children. Earlier this summer, Walker acknowledged the existence of three children he hadn’t previously discussed publicly after a prior report from the Daily Beast, which alleged he had lied to his own campaign staff about their existence.
Walker, who is challenging Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock, has run a staunchly anti-abortion campaign, saying he wants a total ban with no exceptions for rape, incest or the health of the mother.
In an interview Thursday morning with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, Walker insisted he had not paid for the abortion despite the fact that the Daily Beast had seen a receipt from the clinic, a check from him and a "get well" card to the woman. Walker did not deny that the woman in the story was the mother of one of his children.
When Hewitt followed up, Walker said of the alleged abortion, “Had that happened, I would have said it, because it’s nothing to be ashamed of there. You know, people have done that, but I know nothing about it. And if I knew about it, I would be honest and talk about it.”
Walker briefly took questions from the press following a campaign event at a lumber company in Wadley, Ga., but his answers did not immediately clear up the confusion.
“Have you reached out to any of the mothers of your children?” asked a reporter. Walker said he had not, and then asked why he would need to.
“Well, because, according to the [Daily Beast] article, the woman who says that you paid for her to have an abortion is also the mother of one of your children,” the reporter continued. “It seems like that’s an easy way to —”
“Because of the article, I had more kids,” Walker said. “That’s why I didn’t reach out to anyone, because I said no, and that’s what I mean when I said no. I said that’s not correct, that’s a lie. Then that's what I mean, that's a lie.”
A reporter then asked him about his comment to Hewitt about not needing to be ashamed. The former University of Georgia star said he hadn’t made the comment.
“No, what I said — I was talking about something totally different than what did happen,” Walker explained. “I said, when I, with my ex-wife, in my past, had nothing to do with what this woman said. I said this, this here abortion thing is false, it’s a lie. And that’s what I said. I said anything happened with my ex-wife or what Christian was talking about — I don’t know, but as I said, if anything happened I have nothing to be ashamed of. My ex-wife and I have been the best of friends with her husband and my wife. So that’s the things I’ve said. And I said nothing about if it did happen. Because I said that’s a lie.”
Walker has so far failed to file a defamation lawsuit against the Daily Beast, as he stated he would after the release of the initial story on Monday. His lawyer, Robert Ingram, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday, “We are investigating.”
Politico reported that Walker’s campaign team had already been aware of the story of an abortion circulating. Roger Sollenberger, the Daily Beast writer who broke the story about the alleged abortion, said the Politico piece “doesn’t quite track with what I know about the story I reported. It’s highly, highly possible these are two different allegations.”
Walker has not directly addressed the comments from his adult son Christian, a right-wing social media influencer who was highly critical of his father. In a series of tweets Monday evening, Christian Walker wrote, “I don’t care about someone who has a bad past and takes accountability. But how DARE YOU LIE and act as though you’re some ‘moral, Christian, upright man.’ You’ve lived a life of DESTROYING other peoples lives. How dare you. ... Every family member of Herschel Walker asked him not to run for office, because we all knew (some of) his past. Every single one. He decided to give us the middle finger and air out all of his dirty laundry in public, while simultaneously lying about it. I’m done.”
“I stayed silent as the atrocities committed against my mom were downplayed,” the younger Walker said in a Tuesday video. “We could have ended this [campaign] on day one. We haven’t. I haven’t told any stories. I’m just saying don’t lie.”
When asked after the Wadley event why voters should believe him over his son, Walker said, “Because I love my son so much. He’s a great little man, and I love him to death. And I’ll always love him no matter what my son says.”