By Eric Bradner, CNN
Christian Walker, the 23-year-old son of Georgia Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker, has built a following as a conservative social media influencer after two years of creating videos in which he bashes liberals, feminists, abortion rights advocates, racial justice protesters, those celebrating LGBTQ Pride Month and more — often while waiting in a Starbucks drive-through line.
But aside from one event after his father, a Heisman Trophy-winning former college football star, launched his Senate campaign with an endorsement from former President Donald Trump, Christian Walker says he has kept his distance from his father’s campaign in recent months, even though his father has frequently spoken about his son.
That changed in dramatic fashion this week, when Christian Walker unleashed a torrent of criticism, casting his father as a deadbeat and a perpetual liar, after a report emerged alleging that the elder Walker — who has said he opposes abortion rights, and that there are “no exceptions in his mind,” on the campaign trail — had paid for a woman’s abortion himself more than a decade ago.
Herschel Walker, who is facing Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in one of the most competitive races of this year’s midterm elections, has been under fire since the Daily Beast reported Monday that he paid for an unidentified woman’s abortion in 2009. In a subsequent report Wednesday, the outlet reported that the woman is the mother of one of Walker’s four children. CNN has not independently verified the allegations reported by The Daily Beast.
“This here, the abortion thing, is false. It’s a lie,” Walker told reporters Thursday, after vehemently denying the allegations earlier in the week.
His denials of the initial Daily Beast story were immediately called into question by his son on social media.
“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,” Christian Walker said in a tweet Monday night, shortly after the Daily Beast’s first story was published. “I’m done.”
What followed was a series of tweets and videos in which Christian Walker said he had been misled from the outset of Herschel Walker’s Senate campaign about his intentions to take ownership of a series of controversies, including allegations of domestic abuse.
He also offered new insight into Walker’s relationship with Christian Walker’s mother and Herschel Walker’s ex-wife Cindy Grossman. The two divorced in 2001. Grossman had previously alleged in an interview with ABC News in 2008 that Walker “held a gun to my temple and said he was going to blow my brains out” during a violent episode while they were married. Walker has said he has dissociative identity disorder, which was previously known as multiple personality disorder, and has sought to advise people with mental health problems.
“I know my mom and I would really appreciate if my father Herschel Walker stopped lying and making a mockery of us,” Christian Walker said in another tweet Monday night.
In a follow-up tweet, he added: “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.”
Herschel Walker was asked by reporters at a campaign stop Thursday about the ongoing criticism by Christian Walker.
“I love my son so much. He’s a great little man. I love him to death. And you know what, I will always love him, no matter what my son says,” Walker said.
He repeatedly characterized the reports about his personal life as Democratic attacks intended to thwart his chances of winning in November.
Christian Walker did not respond to an email and social media messages seeking comment.
As of Thursday night, he has a large following across a series of social media networks. He has nearly 290,000 followers on Twitter, as well as 170,000 followers on TikTok and 508,000 on Instagram, where he identifies himself as a “free-speech radicalist” in his bio.
Until recently, Walker had lived in California. He graduated from UCLA in the spring and in July, posted on social media that he was moving to Florida.
“I’m not going to stay in a state that hates me, hates my safety, and hates seeing me achieve success,” he said in an Instagram post in which he held a sign that said “I’m moving to Florida” and in which he also told his followers he was headed to “DESANTIS-LAND,” referring to Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis.
Walker has posted a photograph with DeSantis, and frequently said he wants to see the governor, who is up for reelection in November, one day run for president. He has also praised Trump, and posted a picture with him in December, after he had attended the lone Herschel Walker campaign event in which Christian Walker said he has been involved.
Much of Walker’s social media content features him taking conservative positions. He has voiced his support for a Florida law, which critics have referred to as “Don’t Say Gay,” that bans discussion of gender and sexuality issues with younger students in classrooms.
He has also criticized George Floyd and the protests that followed Floyd’s murder at the hands of Minneapolis, Minnesota, police officer Derek Chauvin in 2020. Walker has repeatedly taken issue with the trial of Derek Chauvin, the police officer who was convicted in Floyd’s death.
Among Walker’s most frequent targets for criticism is the Black Lives Matter movement and racial justice protests that erupted across the nation in the wake of Floyd’s death.
“BLM is a domestic terrorist organization,” Walker said on Twitter in September 2020. Black Lives Matter, rekindled in the days after Floyd was killed, is a protest movement opposing what it calls systemic racism and police brutality.
Walker also hosts a podcast called “Uncancellable,” which appears on Apple and Spotify. One recent episode was titled, “PRIDE IS A SIN (Exploring the Rainbow Cult),” and was released on the first day of June, which is Pride Month.
Pride gatherings are rooted in the arduous history of minority groups who have struggled for decades to overcome prejudice and be accepted for who they are.
Walker says he does not identify as gay but says he is attracted to men but frequently lambasts LGBTQ activists and mocks Pride Month.
“I don’t celebrate Pride Month because I grew up wanting Prince Charming, not to walk around the streets with no clothes on at a Pride Festival,” Walker said in a June TikTok video.
“Pride month makes no sense. You have all your rights, now SHUT UP. Your sexuality is not an accomplishment,” he said on Twitter in June. “Leave everyone alone and stop projecting your insecurity.”
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