Mar 13, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Sen. Britt says Speaker Johnson told her SOTU rebuttal would be "fine"

Sen. Katie Britt (R-Ala.) in Congress in January 2024.

Sen. Katie Britt (R-Ala.) in Congress in January 2024. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Alabama Sen. Katie Britt (R) said on Wednesday she was assured by House Speaker Mike Johnson (R) that her rebuttal to President Biden's State of the Union last week would be "fine."

Why it matters: Britt's speech, which she delivered from her kitchen, has been widely mocked. She has also been criticized for misconstruing a human trafficking victim's story during the rebuttal.

What they're saying: Britt said in an interview on Sen. Ted Cruz's podcast published on Wednesday that Johnson, while asking her to make the rebuttal, said: "People are going to tell you horror stories about all of these things that happened and people's career being blown up" over giving the speech.

  • "And he's like, 'It'll be fine, it'll be fine,'" she said.

The intrigue: Britt said it was "awesome" that actress Scarlett Johansson impersonated her during "Saturday Night Live's" most recent cold opening.

  • During the parody, Johansson noted that Britt misconstrued almost every aspect of Karla Jacinto Romero's horrific experience of being sex trafficked between 2004 to 2008 in Guadalajara and other cities in Mexico.

The bottom line: Though Britt never named Jacinto Romero, the details of the story align with her experience. After the rebuttal, Jacinto Romero told CNN that she believes Britt deliberately misused her story for political purposes.

  • Asked by Fox News' Shannon Bream on Sunday whether she meant to imply that the story she shared occurred during Biden's time in office, Britt said "no" before immediately criticizing Biden's border policies.

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