Taylor Swift defends staying out of the 2016 election: 'I just knew I wasn't going to help'
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Taylor SwiftTaylor Alison SwiftThe Hill's Morning Report — Bloomberg is in; independents sour on impeachment Elizabeth Warren's hypocritical and foolish attack on private equity Progressive Democrats ramp up attacks on private equity MORE says President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats worried by Jeremy Corbyn's UK rise amid anti-Semitism Warren, Buttigieg duke it out in sprint to 2020 MORE succeeded in "weaponizing the idea of a celebrity endorsement," pointing to that as the reason she didn't publicly support Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats seek leverage for trial Davis: Trump vs. Clinton impeachments – the major differences Sharice Davids to vote for Trump impeachment articles: 'The facts are uncontested' MORE during the 2016 White House race.

"Unfortunately in the 2016 election you had a political opponent who was weaponizing the idea of the celebrity endorsement. He was going around saying, ‘I’m a man of the people. I’m for you. I care about you,’” Swift said in an interview with Vogue for the fashion magazine's September issue, published Thursday.

"I just knew I wasn’t going to help," Swift said of potentially backing Clinton's campaign.


The 29-year-old singer famously has been politically silent throughout most of her career. She broke that silence last year, when she endorsed former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen (D) in the state's Senate race in an Instagram post. Bredesen ultimately lost to then-Rep. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnTikTok chief cancels Capitol Hill meetings, inflaming tensions Lawsuits pose new challenge for TikTok TikTok's leader to meet with lawmakers next week MORE (R).

In her sit-down with Vogue, the Grammy Award winner said she was also facing a social media firestorm in 2016 following a war of words with Kim Kardashian WestKimberly (Kim) Noel Kardashian WestPrison to proprietorship: The path to real second chances Kanye West performs for Texas inmates Texas court grants indefinite stay on Rodney Reed execution MORE, which discouraged her from getting political.

"Also, you know, 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," Swift recalled.

"These are the same exact insults people were hurling at Hillary. Would I be an endorsement or would I be a liability?" asked the "Me!" singer. "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 said earlier this year that she was "finding [her] voice in terms of politics," writing in an essay for Elle that she wants to "do more to help" ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

In her music video for "You Need to Calm Down" released in June, Swift included a push for support of the Equality Act, legislation that would enshrine protections for LGBTQ Americans in federal law. 

"Rights are being stripped from basically everyone who isn’t a straight white cisgender male,” told Vogue when asked why she was choosing to speak out now about LGBTQ issues.

“I didn’t realize until recently that I could advocate for a community that I’m not a part of. It’s hard to know how to do that without being so fearful of making a mistake that you just freeze. Because my mistakes are very loud. When I make a mistake, it echoes through the canyons of the world."