On Tuesday, POLITICO reported that strategists working for Georgia GOP Senate candidate Herschel Walker were aware for months of an allegation that he paid for a woman he impregnated to have an abortion — but simply hoped that the rumors could go uncommented on and unconfirmed in public until at least after the election.
One strategist put it bluntly in an anonymous statement to reporters: “It’s not that we knew about this specific case, but he’s a wealthy, famous football player who is obviously spreading his seed.”
This comes after Monday night's bombshell report from The Daily Beast detailing the scandal, with the woman coming forward with her receipt from the abortion clinic, and a $700 check and "Get Well" card both bearing Walker's signature.
"It was brought to the attention of those working on Walker’s behalf, in part as a means of discouraging him from running. His team downplayed the potential disruption it would cause. But, according to one of those people, they did not outright deny it," reported Meridith McGraw, Natalie Allison, and Sam Stein. "'It was, ‘Eh, it’s not going to come out, you’re being hyperbolic,’' said one top Georgia GOP operative, granted anonymity to discuss private conversations. 'The reaction was not, ‘They’re not going to say that because it never happened.’ It was like everything else, ‘Eh, people aren’t going to find out.’'
This is in stark contrast to Walker's public reaction to the story, which he called a "lie" before vowing to sue the Daily Beast. Shortly after the story broke, Walker's son Christian — a young right-wing activist who had previously served as one of his campaign surrogates — publicly accused his father of lying and detailed allegations that he had abused and threatened to murder his family.
Walker, who has the continued backing of both former President Donald Trump and the national Republican fundraising groups, is set to face off against Democratic Sen. Rev. Raphael Warnock in November. The race will advance to a runoff if neither candidate gets more than 50 percent.