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Sunday, September 12, 2004

Ben Barnes Trying to Silence Daughter?

The plot thickens. Now they are trying to shut up Ben Barnes' daughter.
Saturday, Sept. 11, 2004 1:54 p.m. EDT

Ben Barnes Trying to Silence Daughter?

The press secretary for Kerry presidential campaign official Ben Barnes - who claimed Wednesday that he used influence to secure a place for President Bush in the Texas Air National Guard 36 years ago - has been trying to silence Barnes' daughter Amy, who has called her father's account a lie. Barnes' press secretary Kane Hinton allegedly tried to kill Amy Barnes' interview on Friday with ABC Radio network host Sean Hannity, after Barnes told a Texas radio station the day before that her father had admitted privately that the story was false.

Ms. Hinton claimed that Amy Barnes had issued a statement retracting her earlier comments, according to Hannity's producer, and would have nothing further to say.

"[Hinton] called our studio saying she was a friend of Amy's," the talk host revealed during Friday's broadcast. "She canceled the interview on your behalf," he told Ms. Barnes, who appeared despite the attempted cancellation.

Hinton allegedly claimed she was authorized to issue the following statement on Amy Barnes' behalf:

"My comments were wrong about my father during a radio interview last night and I feel very badly and I'm very sorry. I did not know enough about the facts to speak out on the National Guard issue. Though we may not agree about certain political issues, I know my father told the truth on '60 Minutes,' and I regret my comments about him."

But Ms. Barnes denied authorizing Hinton to speak for her, saying, "I definitely was not going to let them say that I lied [in the first interview] because I did not lie."

Ms. Hinton allegedly tried to cancel the interview after her boss, Mr. Barnes, complained directly to his daughter during a Thursday night phone call.

"He's not happy with me - to put it mildly," Amy Barnes told Hannity. "He's not happy at all. ... He said this was going to be a very bad thing for him."

Ms. Barnes said that subsequent to her father's call, Ms. Hinton tried to get her to sign the statement saying she was recanting her comments.

"I told her I'm not going to sign it because I spoke the truth about my conversation with my father," Ms. Barnes said.

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