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EXCLUSIVE
2022 Election

'That's my check': Walker acknowledges giving $700 to his ex, but denies her claim he knew it was for an abortion

In an interview with NBC News, the GOP candidate for Senate in Georgia also defended his comments about insulin and sought to clarify his stance on abortion after Friday's debate.

WRIGHTSVILLE, Ga. — Confronted with images of a receipt from an abortion clinic and a check dated days later and bearing his name, Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker said Sunday that an ex-partner’s allegation that he paid to terminate her pregnancy is a lie.

“It’s a lie,” Walker, an anti-abortion Republican and former football star, told NBC News in an interview airing Monday on "TODAY." “Prove that I did that. Just to show me things like that does nothing for me.”

In Sunday’s interview, Walker acknowledged the $700 check was his but again said he had no knowledge of what the money might have been for.

“Yes, that’s my check,” he said.

Tune in to "NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt" tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. CT. for more on this story.

The woman, who is the mother of one of Walker’s children, shared the images of records with NBC News that she said document the abortion of a child they conceived in 2009. Walker has denied the allegation that he knew about and paid for the woman's abortion since it was first reported by The Daily Beast earlier this month. The news outlet said it corroborated the details of the abortion accusation with a close friend who said she took care of her after the procedure and said the woman provided both a receipt from the abortion clinic and a bank deposit receipt that included an image of Walker’s check that she said was reimbursement for the procedure. NBC News has also spoken with one of the women's close friends who says the woman told her of the abortion at the time and supported her afterward.

Walker indicated in the interview with NBC News that he had written the woman many checks over the years, calling her by her first name and wondering if the woman had a job at the time. The woman told NBC News that this was the only payment Walker ever sent her prior to having their child.

NBC News is withholding the woman's name due to privacy concerns.

"You want me to answer something that’s a lie, and everyone’s trying to trick me and make me respond," Walker said at one point in the discussion.

He added: "Show where I have said that this is [for] an abortion."

Asked why voters should believe him, he said, "Voters believe me because I have been very transparent about everything I’ve ever done. You know I wrote a book about everything I have done, I have not tried to hide one thing I've ever done."

The exchange came during a wide-ranging interview with Walker in his childhood hometown that also touched on former President Donald Trump's stolen election lies, inflation and other policy topics. His campaign to unseat Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock, the senior pastor at the Atlanta church where Martin Luther King Jr. preached, has made for one of the most competitive and volatile Senate races in the country this year. Whichever candidate wins next month’s general election could become his party’s deciding vote in a chamber that is currently split 50-50.

Warnock declined a request for an interview. In a statement, his campaign manager Quentin Fulks said, "This campaign will come down to who is ready to represent Georgia and it is clear that is not Herschel Walker."

Abortion has been a major issue in the race since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, eliminating constitutional protections for abortion rights.

Walker, during a debate with Warnock on Friday, said he supported a Georgia abortion ban that provides exceptions for rape, incest and when the mother’s life is at risk. Days later, he denied that he was reversing his “no exception in my mind” stance from months earlier while describing his position as consistent with Georgia voters.

“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.”

Walker, who has been accused of embellishing his work with law enforcement agencies, also defended his use of a badge as a prop during the Friday debate. 

“That is a legit badge,” Walker said. “I carry it with me all the time. It’s a real badge. It’s not a fake badge.”

Walker added that he has “badges all over, all over Georgia” and pulled out one that he said came from a sheriff in Johnson County, his home county. He acknowledged that the badge was “honorary” but insisted the badge permitted him to work alongside police.

“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.

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

The sheriff of Johnson County confirmed to NBC News that he had given Walker the honorary badge and said he had no issue with Walker bringing it up during his political campaign.

On the issue of inflation, Walker reiterated his opposition to the Inflation Reduction Act signed into law this year by President Joe Biden. He raised eyebrows during Friday's debate when, responding to Warnock's remark that the measure capped insulin costs, he suggested that those worried about the high cost of the medicine should also "eat right." When pressed Sunday about patients who have had diabetes since birth, Walker contended "that doesn't matter."

"You still have to eat right," he said.

Later in the interview, pressed on whether Biden has done anything that he supports, Walker responded:

“One thing that he’s done that I support? He eats a lot of ice cream.”

Asked about his struggles with mental illness, which he chronicled in a 2008 book, Walker said he no longer has symptoms of dissociative identity disorder, formerly known as multiple personality disorder. In the book, Walker wrote about how he developed "alters" to deal with stress and trauma.

“I’ve been redeemed,” Walker said when asked about his past treatment for the disorder. “I will say it like this: Everyone wants to talk about a house I used to live in. I don’t live there no more. I moved out. My life is now doing some incredible things.”

Walker has cited the condition when responding to questions about allegations of violent episodes in his past, including accusations that he threatened to kill his ex-wife, Cindy Grossman. Walker was never criminally charged in those and other cases documented in police reports or interviews over the years. In a 2008 CNN interview, Grossman said Walker held a gun to her head a handful of times and held a straight razor to her throat. (Walker did not deny her allegations but said he had no memory of committing the alleged attacks.)

“Anyone else outside of my book is lying to you,” said Walker, whose memoir did not include the accusations that he pointed a gun at Grossman’s head and threatened to kill her.

“Everything is in my book,” he added. “I’m not trying to promote books, so forgive me for that.”

Despite the potential liabilities in Walker's past, Trump strongly encouraged him to seek the Senate seat. But Walker signaled some distance from Trump during Friday's debate when he said Biden won the 2020 election.

Trump has, without evidence, claimed that the election was stolen from him and has expected candidates he supports to echo his lies.

"Herschel Walker's running," Walker said Sunday when asked about Trump's continued false claims about the 2020 result. "President Trump is not running. President Trump, he's in Florida. Who's in office right now is President Biden, Senator Warnock and their policy is hurting this country."

Asked if he believed the last election was rigged, Walker replied: "I have no idea and I don't care. What I care about is this election coming up in November."