Britt Sticks to Sex Trafficking Tale

No one else can find story's relevance to Biden's border policies
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 10, 2024 5:00 PM CDT
Britt Sticks to Sex Trafficking Tale
Republican Sen. Katie Britt speaks during a news conference about the US-Mexico border in February 2023 on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib, File)

Pressed Sunday about the sex trafficking story she included in her Republican response to President Biden's State of the Union address, Sen. Katie Britt said everyone should have listened to her more carefully. In her nationally televised appearance Thursday night, she described the horrific sexual abuse of a woman in criticizing Biden's border policies. But it was hard to see the relevance, given that it happened in another country long before Biden became president. "I very clearly said I spoke to a woman who told me about when she was trafficked when she was 12," Britt said Sunday, per the New York Times. "I didn't say a teenager. I didn't say a young woman. A grown woman, a woman, when she was trafficked when she was 12."

Those clues should have made clear that the woman actually was trafficked in Mexico between 2004 and 2008, Britt suggested on Fox News Sunday. Shannon Bream had asked if the Alabama senator had intended to "give the impression that this horrible story happened on President Biden's watch." In her address, Britt followed the graphic account with: "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 crisis is a disgrace." President George W. Bush was in office at the time. Shortly after the speech, journalist Jonathan Katz pointed out the problems with the story in a TikTok video, per NBC News.

Since then, several news organizations have looked into the matter. The AP pointed out that the victim has spoken publicly about her abuse, saying it happened in Mexico, her home country, more than 15 years ago. The Times found the victim has never sought asylum in the US. Politico found that she testified before Congress in 2015, giving an account that squares with everyone's version but Britt's. The Washington Post awarded the Republican four full Pinocchios for her misleading wording. A White House spokesman pointed out that Britt voted against the bipartisan legislation to improve border security. And Scarlett Johansson parodied Britt on Saturday Night Live, watchable here. (More Katie Britt stories.)

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