On Wednesday, Joe Barton, a Republican congressman from Texas's 6th district, apologized in a written statement after a nude picture of him circulated around social media earlier this week. In addition to the objectively unflattering dick pic, there was also a screen-capped lewd message Barton allegedly shared in which he wrote, "I want u soo bad. Right now. Deep and hard."
"While separated from my second wife, prior to the divorce, I had sexual relationships with other mature adult women," Barton's statement reads. "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."
If that's all true it's kind of odd he'd feel compelled to apologize.
The 68-year-old Barton, who has preached "family values" and announced earlier in November that he'd be seeking re-election, told the Texas Tribune he was trying to figure out how to respond to speculation about his political future. "You're as aware of what was posted as I am," he said in a phone interview. "I am talking to a number of people, all of whom I have faith in and am deciding how to respond, quite frankly."
A spokeswomen told the Tribune that Barton had no plans to resign, while also reiterating that he had filed for re-election.
It's not yet known how the photos got onto social media in the first place, or if their posting could be classified as revenge porn, which was made illegal in Texas in 2015. In addition to the pic/text that made Barton Wednesday afternoon's No. 1 trending Twitter topic, the user who posted them also says he has several videos of the congressman masturbating.
Barton joined the House in 1985, and is currently Congress' longest serving member from Texas.