Biden spokesman blasts Alabama Sen. Katie Britt

US News

U.S. Sen. Katie Britt (R-AL) speaks at a press conference on border security at the U.S. 

Kevin Dietsch | Getty Images

The White House on Sunday slammed Sen. Katie Britt, R-Al., for misrepresenting her comments on sex trafficking to attack President Joe Biden‘s border policy.

“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,” White House Spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement.

The White House joined a chorus of Britt critics. The Alabama senator has been widely criticized, including by some on the right, for choosing to deliver her rebuttal to Biden’s State of the Union from her kitchen and for her often-theatrical tone during the speech.

Britt took even more heat after independent journalist Jonathan Katz first exposed her for recycling a 20-year-old anecdote about a victim of sex trafficking and presenting it as a result of the current administration’s border policy.

Sean Ross, Britt’s spokesperson, on Saturday denied any allegations of misrepresentation.

“The story Senator Britt told was 100% correct,” Ross said in a statement to CNBC on Saturday. “But there are more innocent victims of that kind of disgusting, brutal trafficking by the cartels than ever before right now.”

Britt on Sunday doubled down on that denial. She argued that in her rebuttal she made clear that the woman who was the focus of her comments had experienced sex trafficking decades earlier during her childhood, and that it had not happened during the Biden administration.

“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 who was trafficked when she was 12,” Britt said on “Fox News Sunday.”

In her State of the Union rebuttal, Britt references “a woman” who “had been sex trafficked by the cartels starting at the age of 12.”

During the speech, she did not clarify that the crime happened decades ago and that the woman was no longer being sex trafficked.

The victim, Karla Jacinto Romero, experienced sex trafficking from 2004 to 2008 in Mexico. Katz and a chorus of online critics lambasted Britt for presenting Jacinto Romero’s story as if it happened in the U.S. under Biden’s watch.

Britt said Sunday that she was using the story to contrast Biden’s first 100 days with her own first 100 days in office, during which she said she visited the border three times to meet drug cartel victims.

NBC’s Saturday Night Live spoofed Britt’s speech on Saturday, pointing to her misleading usage of Jacinto Romero’s story: “Rest assured every detail about it is real except the year, where it took place and who was president when it happened,” actress Scarlett Johansson said playing Britt in the parody.

Disclosure: Comcast’s NBCUniversal is the parent of NBC and CNBC.

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