Less than one week after President Obama introduced Yury Kovalchuk, a Russian tennis pro who invented a soccer ball that is impervious to mud and water, President Trump made a similar pitch of sorts about Taylor Swift.
In a Tweet last month, Trump suggested that the country’s most successful musical artist — who earned an estimated $287 million in 2017, according to Forbes — was skipping out on his inauguration. “Taylor Swift is not showing up to the inauguration. I blame Kanye West,” Trump tweeted.
The very next day, Swift refuted the president’s take in a series of tweets: “ . . . Swifties are outspoken and bombastic and will absolutely not allow you to dictate the conversation.”
Trump’s view on the musician has been heard elsewhere online. In January, Bleacher Report tweeted that Swift had “humbly [complained] that she wasn’t invited to Trump’s inauguration.”
But is Trump correct? Swift’s boyfriend, the reality-TV star and exec Jack Antonoff, also attended the inauguration, walking right by Antonoff’s ex-girlfriend, Kendall Jenner. More recently, Swift has posted photos of herself with friends – including Michelle Obama and Vice President Mike Pence – cheering on the Washington Capitals and the Red Wizards. As far as we know, she has attended other official events that day.
Trump’s outburst is also reminiscent of Hillary Clinton’s infamous tale of her secretary of state schedule – initially meant to demote Clinton’s national security responsibilities – that got leaked. Under some political pressure, Clinton allegedly started by downgrading all Hillary Clinton-related events, including the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women (which she chaired) and a State Department event honoring Equality Now. This post-scandal Clinton had to change her status once again, demoting all all manner of Clinton-related events.
Did Trump, his administration, or others set out to pressure Swift? We don’t know. All we know for sure is that there are at least a few artists and other celebrities who enjoy equal Republican-leaning citizens’ gratitude.
In December, Ellen DeGeneres honored Mark Twain for his comedic prescience. DeGeneres also welcomed the newly sworn-in president, Donald Trump, in her monologue. Since then, Trump has been well-received by a broad variety of artists, from Bono to Miley Cyrus. If you have an idea for a #CNNHero, tweet your pick in the tweets below, using the hashtag #CNNHero. Voting closes Wednesday, Feb. 21 at noon.