In the not-so-distant past of American politics, lying about yourself, even among Republicans, was considered a political handicap. It was a handicap that, if severe enough, could frustrate campaigns and cause longtime politicians to be removed from office. Since the presidency of Donald Trump, this paradigm has radically changed; Republicans are now eager to wrap themselves in untruths, wearing them as a badge of honor — a trend that continues stunningly among the latest slate of pro-Trump candidates vying to represent their states as attorneys general, Secretaries of State, Governors, and US Senators.
No candidate has embraced the habit as shamelessly as former NFL running back Hershel Walker, who seeks to represent Georgia in the US Senate. Walker, who has no political experience, has a total distaste for the truth, bragging with a whole Wikipedia section dedicated to his story of lies. Over the past few months, the Republican nominee has lied about his education, work history, business experience and more. Just this week, Walker has been scoffed after claiming he was both a police officer and an FBI agent. (Spoiler: He was neither.) To paint a fuller picture of his dishonesty, Salon compiled some of Walker’s most bizarre and despicable fabrications to date.
1 Walker falsely claimed he was an FBI agent and a police officer
In the past, the ex-NFL star said he was both an “honorary deputy” in Cobb County, Georgia and an FBI agent. In a 2017 speech, he specifically declared, “I work with the Cobb County Police Department.” And in 2019, Walker also told an audience, “I spent time at Quantico at FBI training school. Didn’t you know I was an agent?”
But according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Cobb County Police Department has no record of Walker’s employment. The department also said his so-called “honorary deputy” status made no sense and compared it to having “a junior ranger badge.”
True, Walker spent a week in an FBI training program in Quantico, Virginia. However, to become an FBI agent, applicants must have a college degree, which Walker lackeven though he said otherwise.
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2 Walker falsely claimed he graduated from the University of Georgia
As of December 2021, Walker’s campaign website alleged that the former athlete graduated from the University of Georgia, which he actually left in his freshman year to play football professionally. However, this claim was quickly removed from the campaign website after the Journal-Constitution demand as to its veracity.
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CNN found later that Walker spread this lie as early as 2008, telling people he graduated in the top 1% of his class.
As he said in a 2017 speech, “And all of a sudden I started going to the library, picking up books, standing in front of a mirror reading to myself. While Herschel, who all the kids said was retarded, became valedictorian of his class. Graduated University of Georgia in the top 1% of his class.”
Similarly, in a promotional biography for his 2008 book, Walker claims have “completed his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice at the University of Georgia”.
RELATED: ‘I’m mad at him’: Herschel Walker accuses Trump of lying while ‘taking credit’ for election win
3Walker falsely claimed to own a drapery business
As early as 2016, Walker said that he owns a drapery business, which he says employed 250 people.
“I started this little [inaudible] drapery business, where I still have around 250 people who sew draperies and bedspreads for me,” the former footballer told an audience in February. At one point, Walker gone so far as to claiming that he owned “the largest upholstery company in the United States”.
But according to The Daily Beast, it’s not clear that Walker owns such a business. And after reviewing numerous corporate documents, the Beast discovered that Walker had no financial ties to Renaissance Manufacturing or Renaissance – the two companies he might have been referring to.
4 Walker inflated the size and success of his food business
In October, Walker said in a podcast, “I own a food company – this will freak you out – I own the largest minority-owned food company in the United States.” According to his account, this company, Renaissance Foods, has more than 100 employees and achieves an annual turnover of 70 million dollars.
But Walker’s company was not on Black Enterprise magazine’s list of the 100 largest black-owned businesses in America, because the Beast Noted. And in the Payment Protection Plan (PPP) application in April 2020, the company indicated that it was only job eight workers.
RELATED: Herschel Walker omitted millions from financial report
5 Walker exaggerated his role in a veteran support program
For years, Walker said he helped create Patriot Support, a for-profit program designed to support veterans struggling with mental health issues. But a recent Associated Press investigation found that Walker greatly exaggerated his role in the program. Although he claims to have helped create it, Walker is only a paid spokesperson for Patriot Support, whose corporate sponsor, Universal Health Services, paid him a salary of $331,000 last year.
Prosecutors investigating Universal Health Services also alleged that Patriot Support was part of a systematic effort to push “those with government-sponsored insurance into inpatient mental health care to generate revenue,” as the Associated Press reported. The company allegedly “pushed staff at its mental health facilities to misdiagnose patients and falsify documents in order to hospitalize those who did not need it”, and in other cases refused to discharge hospital patients who no longer needed support.