Sen. Katie Britt responds to accusations of misleading statement in State of the Union rebuttal

State of the Union speech before a joint session of Congress.

Alabama Republican Sen. Katie Britt is responding to criticism for allegedly misleading comments made during her rebuttal to President Biden’s State of the Union address last week, where Britt appeared to suggest that a horrific sex trafficking story had occurred during President Biden’s time in office. At 42-years-old, Britt is the youngest Republican woman ever elected to the Senate, and the first woman to serve in the Senate from Alabama.

In her rebuttal, Britt shared the story of a woman she spoke with at the southern border who said she was sex-trafficked by the cartels, recalling in graphic detail the story of the abuse of the then-12-year-old.  The senator said at the conclusion: “we wouldn’t be OK 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.”

The criticism of Britt’s remarks began after independent journalist Jonathan M Katz reported in a viral video that the story Britt recalled of the trafficking had actually occurred in Mexico – during George W. Bush’s presidency. Britt seemingly told the story of Karla Jacinto Romero, who has testified before Congress about being the victim of sex trafficking by Mexican cartels when she was 12. Britt and two other senators participated in a roundtable discussion with Jacinto and others during a visit to the southern border last year.

Defending her remarks against the accusations on “Fox News Sunday,” Britt implied that she didn’t mean to suggest that the incident happened under the Biden administration, and said she had been clear during the remarks that the woman in her story was much younger when the incident occurred. Britt added that she was contrasting the first 100 days of her time in the Senate with Mr. Biden’s time in the White House, illustrating how she visited the border and heard victims’ stories and that the story is an example of what’s happening at an “astronomical rate” under the Biden administration.

White House spokesman Andrew Bates in a statement called Britt’s remarks “debunked lies,” saying the senator “should stop choosing human smugglers and fentanyl traffickers over our national security and the Border Patrol Union …like President Biden said in his State of the Union, ‘We have a simple choice: We can fight about fixing the border or we can fix it.”

Editorial credit: Rob Crandall /