NEW: CNN: “Fact check: Herschel Walker’s false and misleading recent claims”

October 11, 2022

A new CNN fact check exposed U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker’s latest lies — part of a larger pattern in Walker’s campaign, which has been “littered with false and misleading claims.”

The fact check notes that despite referencing his “career in the military,” “Walker has never served in the military. Rather, he has worked as a paid spokesman for a for-profit company” that preyed on veterans. It also notes that despite Walker’s claims to have been in the FBI and to have worked as law enforcement, Walker “has never had a job in law enforcement.”

Read the full fact check from CNN here.

CNN: Fact check: Herschel Walker’s false and misleading recent claims

By Daniel Dale, October 11, 2022

Key Points

  • Herschel Walker, the Republican candidate for the US Senate in Georgia, has run a campaign littered with false and misleading claims.
  • Walker, however, has previously undermined his credibility. In 2020 and 2021, he was a serial promoter of false claims about the 2020 election. In the years prior, he repeatedly exaggerated his academic record and business record. And in 2022, Walker has made inaccurate claims about a variety of subjects – once even falsely claiming he never made a false claim that he had actually made on camera at least twice.
  • Walker’s pattern has persisted in the late stages of his midterm race against Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock. 
  • Walker’s campaign declined to comment on specific claims. Walker campaign spokesperson Will Kiley responded to a request for comment by insulting this reporter.

    Walker and the military
  • In a September interview with Black media outlet Rolling Out, Walker said that while some people only talk about him in reference to his past as a football star, “I’ve been very fortunate in the business world. I’ve been very fortunate in my military, uh, career – that I was doing a lot of things in the military.”
  • Facts First: Walker has never served in the military. Rather, he has worked as a paid spokesman for a for-profit company that runs a mental health program for servicemembers and veterans. While Walker has visited numerous military bases to discuss mental health and other issues, it’s misleading at best – and arguably just false – to refer to a military “career” or to claim that he did anything “in the military.”
  • Walker has a history of overstating his role with the Patriot Support mental health program, as The Associated Press reported in May – falsely claiming in both late 2021 and early 2022 that he was the person who started the program.
  • This Walker claim to Rolling Out was previously noted on Twitter by Daily Beast reporter Roger Sollenberger.

    Walker and the FBI
  • When Rolling Out asked Walker about his false 2019 insinuation that he had been an FBI agent, Walker said, “I’m so glad you brought that up. Because if you look at the tape, when I talk about the FBI, you can clearly see I was joking. But I have trained with the FBI…”
  • Facts First: It’s possible that some listener might have thought Walker was joking when he strongly suggested he had been an FBI agent, but Walker certainly didn’t make that unambiguous – and in June 2022, when the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper reported Walker’s comment about having been an FBI agent as a serious claim, Walker’s campaign didn’t tell the newspaper that he was joking. Also, when Walker told the same story in a 2017 speech, he claimed to have an “FBI clearance.”
  • Here’s the context for Walker’s 2019 comments. In a speech to members of the military, in which Walker discussed his struggle with mental illness, he told a story about a time he had been so angry at someone that he grabbed a gun and drove off with the intention of killing the man, calming down only when seeing a bumper sticker about love for Jesus. Walker said he had worked for law enforcement, then added, “Y’all didn’t know that either, did you? I spent time at Quantico, up at the FBI training school. Y’all didn’t know I was an agent? I probably shouldn’t tell you all that. Y’all don’t care. Anyway – hey I’ve been in law enforcement before. So I grab my gun…”
  • Walker smiled at various points in these remarks, but at no point did he say he was joking; it certainly wasn’t obvious that he was being serious about spending time at the FBI training school but then joking immediately afterward when he said he had been an agent. And in a speech to servicemembers two years prior, which was previously noted by PolitiFact, Walker told the same story about having wanted to kill a man and that time said, “I grabbed my gun. Because I worked with law enforcement. People don’t realize: I got my FBI clearance. I went to Quantico.”
  • When the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote in June about Walker’s comment about having been an agent, the Walker campaign pointed the newspaper to a 1989 article in which Walker said he spent a week at the FBI training academy in Quantico at the tail end of his football career – a claim the FBI has not commented on.
  • Walker has never had a job in law enforcement. He has publicized a card showing that he was at some point after 2004 named an “honorary agent” and “special deputy sheriff” in Cobb County, Georgia, titles that do not confer arrest authority.


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