Taylor Swift defends staying out of the 2016 election: 'I just knew I wasn't going to help'
© Getty Images

Taylor SwiftTaylor Alison SwiftThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump grapples with Turkey controversy Taylor Swift 'obsessed' with politics, says she's cautious about celebrity support backfiring for Democrats Police: New Jersey man accused of Taylor Swift break-in arrested after doing doughnuts on Trump golf course MORE says President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP congressman slams Trump over report that U.S. bombed former anti-ISIS coalition headquarters US to restore 'targeted assistance' to Central American countries after migration deal Trump says lawmakers should censure Schiff 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 ClintonGOP warns Graham letter to Pelosi on impeachment could 'backfire' Hillary Clinton praises former administration officials who testified before House as 'gutsy women' Third-quarter fundraising sets Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg apart 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 BlackburnLawmakers toast Greta Van Susteren's new show GOP senators say Erdoğan White House invitation should be revoked Trump-GOP tensions over Syria show signs of easing 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 WestA$AP Rocky's lawyer won't appeal Swedish verdict The evolution of Taylor Swift's political activism Our justice system must reward success 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."