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Katie Britt Defends Sex-Trafficking Story She Misleadingly Linked to Biden

Republican Sen. Katie Britt, who delivered her dramatic rebuttal to the State of the Union in an angry whisper from her kitchen, refused to admit she told a story of a sex-trafficking survivor in her speech that misled the audience to believe it took place in the U.S. under the Biden administration. Even when questioned about it on Fox News, Britt refused to acknowledge she wrongly tried to link the story to President Joe Biden.

During Britt’s speech, she told a story of a woman she spoke with who had been “sex trafficked by the cartels starting at age 12.” She implied that this occurred because of Biden’s border policies and that it happened in the U.S. when she said right after the anecdote, “We wouldn’t be OK with this happening in a third-world country. This is the United States of America, and it’s past time we start acting like it. President Biden’s border crisis is a disgrace. It’s despicable. And it’s almost entirely preventable.” As independent journalist and former Associated Press reporter and editor Jonathan M. Katz uncovered, the survivor, Karla Jacinto Romero, was sex trafficked between 2004 and 2008, before Biden was president or even vice president, and the trafficking took place in Mexico, not the U.S.

Fox News host Shannon Bream questioned Britt on Sunday about her intentions. “Nobody is questioning that the story happened and she is actually who she is and says she is and that does happen, the question is about the timing and implication of you telling this story,” Bream said, asking, “Did you mean to give the impression this horrible story happened on President Biden’s watch?”

“No,” Britt said, adding that she was talking about Biden’s executive actions on immigration during his first 100 days.

“If you look back under 2018, [human trafficking] was a $500 million industry, human trafficking by the drug cartels. It is now a $13 billion industry. Shannon, the drug cartels are winning under this. This is a story of what is happening now at an astronomical rate, and we have to bring attention to it,” Britt said.

But the trafficking statistic, as The New York Times pointed out, is from 2022, meaning it spans a four-year period covering the Biden and Trump administrations approximately equally.

“To be clear,” Bream followed-up, “the story you relayed is not something that’s happened during the Biden administration, that particular person?”

“I very clearly said I spoke to a woman who told me about when she was trafficked when she was 12. So 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,” Britt responded, still not directly conceding that the way she told the story was misleading but indirectly admitting that it did not happen under Biden’s watch.

The White House released a statement through spokesperson Andrew Bates on Sunday regarding Britt: “Instead of telling more debunked lies to justify opposing the toughest bipartisan border legislation in modern history, Senator Britt should stop choosing human smugglers and fentanyl traffickers over our national security and the Border Patrol Union.”

Biden has been trying to push bipartisan immigration reform legislation through Congress, but Republicans in the House killed the bill, just as former president Donald Trump instructed them to do.

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