Katie Britt Defended Linking Sex Trafficking Account to Joe Biden

Sen. Katie Britt speaks to the press in May 2023.
Jacquelyn Martin/AP

  • Alabama Sen. Katie Britt defended the sex trafficking account she described during her SOTU rebuttal.
  • Britt was criticized for linking a decades-old story of a victim in Mexico to President Joe Biden.
  • On Fox News, Britt said she was clear with her comments and denied that her language was deceptive.

Alabama Sen. Katie Britt stepped into the center of the political spotlight last week and may wish she could step out of it.

With her Republican rebuttal to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on Thursday, Britt became a target for fact-checkers and late-night comedians.

While arguing Biden “invited” the immigration crisis at the southern border, Britt brought up an anecdote of a sex trafficking victim who she said she spoke with after taking office in 2023.

“I traveled to the Del Rio sector of Texas. That’s where I spoke to a woman who shared her story with me. She had been sex trafficked by the cartels starting at the age of 12. She told me not just that she was raped every day, but how many times a day she was raped,” Britt said.

While describing the devastating circumstances of the woman’s case, Britt seemed to imply that it took place under Biden’s administration.

“We wouldn’t be okay with this happening in a Third World country. This is the United States of America, and it is past time, in my opinion, that we start acting like it. President Biden’s border policies are a disgrace,” Britt said.

The catch is that the case Britt referred to happened in Mexico during the second George W. Bush administration. The victim has testified to being abused from 2004 to 2008, and a fact-check by The Washington Post found no evidence that cartels were involved, despite Britt’s claims to the contrary.

Asked if she meant to “give the impression that this horrible story happened on Biden’s watch” on Fox News by Shannon Bream on Sunday, Britt defended her wording.

“No, Shannon, look, I very specifically said this is what President Biden did during his first 100 days,” detailing the president’s immigration policies and executive actions Britt disagreed with.

Britt said she was simply contrasting Biden’s first days with her own first 100 days in office, during which she said she visited the border multiple times and spoke with “previous victims of drug cartels.”

“Okay but to be clear, the story that you relayed is not something that’s happened under the Biden administration, that particular person?” Bream pressed.

“Well, I very clearly said I spoke to a woman who told me about when she was trafficked when she was 12,” Britt replied. “I didn’t say a teenager, I didn’t say a young woman. A grown woman, a woman.”

Speaking with the Post, Britt’s communications director Sean Ross disagreed with the premise that Britt’s language about the anecdote was deceptive.

“The story Senator Britt told was 100% correct,” Ross told the Post, arguing that Biden’s policies have “empowered the cartels” to victimize more people “than ever before.”

Ross did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider on Sunday.

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