Politics

Herschel Walker threatens to sue Daily Beast over abortion article

Herschel Walker appeared defiant in an interview on Monday evening with Fox News host Sean Hannity, again denying the abortion allegations. “I never asked anyone to get an abortion. I never paid for an abortion, and it’s a lie. And I’m going to continue to fight,” Walker said, suggesting the reporting was a dishonest attack by his political opponents in a tight, vital race for both parties.

The Daily Beast reported that a woman, whom it did not identify, said Walker reimbursed her for an abortion after they conceived in 2009. In the article, published on Monday evening, the Daily Beast posted as corroboration of the woman’s account images of a receipt from the clinic, a sympathy card from Walker and a check that Walker had written. POLITICO has not independently verified the Daily Beast’s reporting.

The Senate candidate characterized the article as “slander,” “defamatory” and “disgusting, gutter politics,” and called the article’s author “a democrat activist disguised as a reporter.” Walker said on Twitter that he planned to sue the publication on Tuesday morning.

Asked by Hannity to address the check specifically, Walker said: “I send money to a lot of people, and that’s what’s so funny. … God has blessed me, I want to bless others. I got into this race because I’m a Christian.”

He similarly said he sent out many get-well cards, and said he had not seen the image of the get-well card posted as corroboration by the Daily Beast. He did not deny that either the card or the check came from him, even as he vehemently denied paying for any abortion.

The candidate, a former University of Georgia football star backed by former President Donald Trump, has said he supports an exception-free ban on abortion, telling reporters in May that “there’s no exception in my mind” for the procedure. The stance goes further than many of his Republican colleagues, some of whom support exceptions for rape, incest or other circumstances.

Walker faces a tight race against Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock for a seat that could be crucial in determining whether Democrats maintain their slim majority in the upper chamber.

If Walker wins his race, it won’t be the first time a conservative candidate has overcome accusations of funding abortions. Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.) has served in Congress since 2011, despite reports since 2012 that he paid for his ex-wife’s abortions.

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