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Taylor Swift Defends Decision Not to Get Involved in 2016 Election

Taylor Swift poses at the 2018 American Music Awards in Los Angeles, Calif., October 9, 2018. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

Pop star Taylor Swift has defended her relative silence on politics during the 2016 election in a new interview, saying she “knew” she “wasn’t going to help” by getting involved.

“Unfortunately in the 2016 election you had a political opponent who was weaponizing the idea of the celebrity endorsement,” the singer-songwriter, 29, said in a profile in the September issue of Vogue. “[Trump] was going around saying, ‘I’m a man of the people. I’m for you. I care about you.’ I just knew I wasn’t going to help.”

She added that another concern had been whether her speaking out in support of Hillary Clinton would hurt the Democratic nominee.

“The summer before that election, all people were saying was, ‘She’s calculated. She’s manipulative. She’s not what she seems. She’s a snake. She’s a liar.’ These are the same exact insults people were hurling at Hillary,” Swift recalled. “Would I be an endorsement or would I be a liability? Look, snakes of a feather flock together. Look, the two lying women. The two nasty women. Literally millions of people were telling me to disappear. So I disappeared in many senses.”

Swift has been more vocally political in recent months after steering clear of hot-button issues for most of her music career. She first broke her political silence last year in a lengthy written endorsement of former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, who went on to lose his Senate bid to Republican congresswoman Marsha Blackburn. More recently, in June, she released the single “You Need to Calm Down,” an unapologetic anthem supporting LGBT rights.

“Rights are being stripped from basically everyone who isn’t a straight white cisgender male,” she told Vogue.

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