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GOP Sen. Katie Britt is still facing backlash for her State of the Union response

The Alabama Republican implied that a woman fell victim to sex trafficking due to President Biden’s immigration policies — but it occurred during President George W. Bush’s administration.

It’s been four days since Sen. Katie Britt of Alabama gave the Republican Party’s official response to President Biden’s State of the Union (SOTU) address — and she’s still doing damage control.

Britt’s halting delivery while sitting at her kitchen table was widely mocked by both Democrats and Republicans. But it was a story Britt told about a woman who she implied was a victim of human trafficking under Biden’s border policies that has come under even more scrutiny.

🔍 What was the story?

Sen. Katie Britt speaks at a press conference on border security,
Sen. Katie Britt speaks at a press conference on border security at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., in December. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

During her SOTU response, Britt recalled speaking with the woman while visiting the U.S.-Mexico border in 2023.

“She had been sex-trafficked by the cartels starting at age 12,” Britt said. “She told me not just that she was raped every day, but how many times a day she was raped.

“We wouldn’t be OK with this happening in a Third World country,” she added. “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.”

Britt did not name the woman in her remarks. But a TikTok video posted by journalist Jonathan Katz revealed that Britt was speaking about Karla Jacinto Romero, who testified to Congress in 2015 about being forced to work in brothels in Mexico in the mid-2000s — when President George W. Bush was in office. A spokesman for Britt’s office later confirmed that the senator was referring to Jacinto.

⬅️ What was Britt’s response?

Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Britt denied that she had been misleading during her SOTU response.

“I very clearly said I spoke to a woman who told me about when she was trafficked when she was 12,” Britt said. “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.”

Congressional Republicans have long criticized Biden’s handling of the southern border, using stories like Jacinto’s to blast the administration’s immigration policies.

➡️ What did Jacinto say?

Appearing on CNN Sunday, Jacinto reiterated that the trafficking happened before Biden’s presidency and that Britt’s use of her story is why she has been reluctant to cooperate with politicians since her testimony to Congress.

“It seems to me that they only want an image. They only want a photo,” Jacinto said. “And that to me is not fair.”

📺 Britt gets mocked by ‘SNL’ and Jimmy Kimmel at the Oscars

If Britt thought the mockery of her SOTU rebuttal would die down over the weekend, she was sorely mistaken.

NBC’s Saturday Night Live skewered Britt during its opening sketch. Scarlett Johansson, who played Britt, told the audience that she was auditioning for the part of “scary mom.”

“I’ll be performing an original monologue called ‘This Country Is Hell,’” Johansson quipped. “And this is why I’ve invited you into this strange, empty kitchen. Because Republicans wanted me to appeal to women voters, and women love kitchen.”

The Britt mockery was not done.

During his monologue at the Oscars on Sunday, host Jimmy Kimmel referred to Emma Stone’s portrayal of Bella Baxter in Poor Things, the role for which she won Best Actress.

“Emma played an adult woman with the brain of a child, like the lady who gave the rebuttal to the State of the Union on Thursday night,” Kimmel said.