The Latest: Woman long dismissed messages as ‘just Joe’
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Latest on online messages, occasionally of a sexual nature, that U.S. Rep. Joe Barton of Texas sent to a conservative activist (all times local):
A conservative activist who exchanged online messages with Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Barton of Texas says she felt uncomfortable when he occasionally steered the topic toward sexual themes, but for years dismissed it as “that’s just Joe.”
Facebook Messenger exchanges between Kelly Canon and Barton from 2012 featured him asking her things like if she was wearing panties. Barton was married to his second wife at the time.
Canon, a tea party organizer in suburban Dallas, said “97 percent” of their exchanges were about politics or things like football.
She said when Barton “steered the conversation south” she would “shut it down.”
She said she decided to release the messages after Barton didn’t heed calls to resign following a nude photo of him circulating on social media last week.
A conservative activist has released online messages she exchanged five years ago with Rep. Joe Barton in which he asked things like what kind of underwear she wore.
The release comes a week after the Texas Republican apologized for a nude photo of him that circulated on social media.
The Fort Worth Star Telegram obtained Facebook Messenger exchanges between Kelly Canon and Barton. They included Barton questioning Canon about wearing panties in June 2012.
Canon didn’t immediately return phone messages from The Associated Press on Wednesday. Barton confirmed the 2012 messages to the Star Telegram but declined further comment.
Canon told the newspaper that Barton hasn’t apologized for them and that she’d not asked him to.
Barton says he’s seeking re-election. He’s drawn a Republican challenger in the March primary.