U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker has again defiantly claimed the police badge he flashed at Friday’s debate is real and that he has “worked with law enforcement for years,” including training, management and health and wellness programs.
After taking heat online for the stunt, in which he was criticized for producing a prop during the debate, the Georgia Republican sat down with NBC News’ Kristen Welker for an interview that aired in part on Monday. Today. In it, he says he has an “honorary sheriff badge” for Chatham County, Johnson County and Cobb County with “limited rights.”
“It’s a badge that I got from a police officer and I have the badge that I carry with me all the time. It’s a real badge. It’s not a fake badge. It’s a real badge,” Walker says in the interview according to a transcript obtained by The Daily Beast.
Questions surrounding the former NFL star’s alleged work with law enforcement have plagued his Senate campaign, including a June article in Atlanta Journal-Constitution it indicates that there is no real evidence for Walker’s long-standing claims that he worked with the FBI or the police.
During Sunday night’s debate, in which Walker refused to participate and was represented by a empty podiumsaid opponent Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) Walker is not telling the truth, using Friday night’s badge incident as an example of his lies.
“The other night when I said, ‘You keep pretending to be a police officer,’ he presented a badge as if it was proof that he really is a police officer,” Warnock said. “Now he wants us to think he’s a senator. I think the people of Georgia are smart and discerning, and they know that at the end of the day, I know who I’m working for: I’m working for them. “
In the NBC interview, Welker asks Walker, “Who gave you that badge?”
Walker replies, “This badge is from, um – this badge. I have badges from all over – all over Georgia, even from Chatham County. I had to wait – wait – I had from Chatham County, which is a county, which is a county, uh, which is a county from…”
At this point, Walker shows the emblem again, but unfortunately it’s upside down.
“Oh, I have it upside down. On the right, which is a county that Senator Warnock is from. I have an honorary sheriff badge for that county with limited rights.”
Welker presses Walker on where the badge he’s holding is from.
“This is from my hometown,” Walker says.
“This is from Johnson County, from the Sheriff of Johnson County, which is a legal badge. Anyone can joke, but this badge gives me the right… If something happened in this county, I have the right to cooperate with the police on to get things done. People who don’t know—I’ve been in law enforcement for years. I do training program, but they get credit for it. I do a program, a leadership program. I do health and wellness programs. I visit prisons, so everybody wants to make fun of it, but I’ve been—have my men and women in black—men and women in blue back since I’ve done this.”
When asked if the badge confers any arresting authority, Walker confirms that it is a “badge of honor” but that “they can call me when they want me and I have the authority to do things for them to work with them all day.”
Then Welker tells Walker directly that “The National Sheriffs Association said a badge of honor … ‘is for the trophy case’ and asks, ‘why make the decision to flash it during the debate?'”
Walker replies, “That’s totally not true. You can call the guy who gave me the badge… call the woman who gave me the badge and it’s the same thing, I’ll tell you one thing they’re having fun with. They said I didn’t work with the Cobb County police. , right? Cobb County Sheriff Police.”
Walker appears to be referring to a spokeswoman from a Walker campaign’s claims Journal-Constitution that Walker is an honorary deputy in Cobb County, although the Cobb County Police Department told the newspaper it had no records to support the claim.
“And that’s the way people do news media,” Walker continues. “And I had the sheriff who gave me the badge and been there for years, been there for years come out and do a press conference with me and said, ‘Herschel’s been with us for years, he’d been working with us.'”
Walker claimed that the media “didn’t listen to anything and wanted to try to find an excuse.”
He said, “No, I’ll always have my men and women in blue. That’s why they support me. I have more… more sheriffs who have endorsed Herschel Walker in Georgia than any candidate running Today.”