As the Roy Moore scandal in Alabama expands into an increasingly worse problem for Republicans, conservative politicians in Texas are facing their own public relations mess. On Wednesday, U.S. Representative Joe Barton admitted a graphic nude photo, and an accompanying screenshot of a salacious text message, were his. The leaked nude and the text message previously made the rounds on social media this week, forcing Barton to fess up to their existence in an interview with the Texas Tribune. “You’re as aware of what was posted as I am,” he told the outlet.
The Tribune and most outlets did not reproduce the image and text message in question. Meanwhile, of course TMZ published both, which you can see at your own discretion here. “I want u soo bad,” read the text message. “Right now. Deep and hard.” Barton’s spokesperson said he had no immediate plans to resign his office. They did, however, release a statement of apology to his constituents:
“While separated from my second wife, prior to the divorce, I had sexual relationships with other mature adult women,” he said. “Each was consensual. Those relationships have ended. I am sorry I did not use better judgment during those days. I am sorry that I let my constituents down.”
As for the origin of the leaked image and text message, neither Barton nor anyone in his office knows how they made their way online. What’s more, no one has claimed responsibility for the leak. Even so, considering everything going on with Moore’s scandal in Alabama, it’s practically impossible not to interpret Barton’s apology’s emphasis on having “sexual relationships” with “mature adult women” that were “consensual” as a dig at the U.S. Senate hopeful.
(Via Texas Tribune)