Fact Check

'Tennessee Christian Values': Taylor Swift Discussed Donald Trump in Viral Clip?

The footage of Swift is authentic and came from her 2020 Netflix documentary, "Miss Americana."

Published Oct. 5, 2023

 (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Image courtesy of Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Claim:
In a video clip posted to X (formerly known as Twitter) on Sept. 25, 2023, Taylor Swift discussed her feelings about former President Donald Trump .
Context

In a viral X post, the video is captioned, "Taylor Swift on Donald Trump. Is she right?" But although Trump is mentioned in passing at the very beginning the clip, the bulk of the video consists mostly of Swift talking about then-Tennessee U.S. Senate candidates Marsha Blackburn and Phil Bredesen.

In September 2023, a 90-second video clip was posted on X (formerly known as Twitter) that claimed to show Grammy-winning musician Taylor Swift discussing how she felt about former President Donald Trump. In the X post, the video was captioned, "Taylor Swift on Donald Trump. Is she right?" At the time of this writing, the post had 6.2 million views on the social media platform. 

This is not Taylor Swift discussing Donald Trump. (@stillgray/X)

We also found the video posted on Instagram

The clip was miscaptioned. While Trump was mentioned in the clip briefly at the beginning, nearly all of Swift's remarks in the edited video were about U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn and former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen. Swift was shown discussing with her parents and team whether or not she should speak out against Blackburn when the latter was campaigning for the Senate in 2018.

In the clip shared in the X post, Swift said:

Person 1: And another thing, just from a security standpoint, 'Taylor Swift comes out against Donald Trump-'

Taylor Swift: I don't care if they write that. I am sad that I didn't two years ago, but I can't change that. I am saying right now that this is something that I know is right. And you guys…I need to be on the right side of history. And if he doesn't win, then at least I tried. 

Taylor Swift: It really is a big deal for me. She votes against fair pay for women. She votes against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which is just basically protecting us from domestic abuse and stalking. Stalking. She thinks that if you're a gay couple, or even if you look like a gay couple, you should be allowed to be kicked out of a restaurant. It's really basic human rights, and it's right and wrong at this point. And I can't see another commercial and see her disguising these policies behind the words, 'Tennessee Christian values.' Those aren't Tennessee Christian values. I live in Tennessee. I am Christian. That's not what we stand for. 

I need to do this. I need you to just — Dad, I need you to forgive me for doing it. 'Cause I'm doing it.  

The footage of Swift is authentic and came from her 2020 Netflix documentary, "Miss Americana." While, as we said above, Trump was briefly mentioned, The Hollywood Reporter reported the "he" that Swift referenced in the clip was former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, Blackburn's Democratic opponent for the Senate seat.

In the context of the full documentary, it is clear that Swift was primarily expressing concerns about Blackburn, and only mentioned Trump in passing. For example, just before the portion of the video seen in the X clip begins, Swift said the election in Tennessee was the only thing she had been able to discuss for months. 

Later in the documentary, footage from TV broadcasts showed news reporters discussing how Swift had said in the caption of an Instagram post that she would be voting for Bredesen in the Senate race:

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift)

The caption for the Instagram post mentioned Blackburn voting against the Violence Against Women Act, a key reason Swift named as to why she wanted to speak out against the candidate in the part of the documentary featured in the X post. 

As we found that Swift was primarily discussing Blackburn in the X clip, we rate the claim that Swift was discussing her feelings about Trump in the clip as Miscaptioned.

Sources

Greenberg, Jon. "PolitiFact - Taylor Swift: Marsha Blackburn Voted against Reauthorizing Violence Against Women Act." PolitiFact, 7 Oct. 2018, https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2018/oct/09/taylor-swift/taylor-swift-marsha-blackburn-voted-against-reauth/.

Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/p/BopoXpYnCes/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=59d9ee81-8720-449c-9409-a0c6865a228b. Accessed 25 Sept. 2023.

Schaffstall, Katherine. "Taylor Swift Explains How Sexual Assault Case Inspired Her to Get Political in 'Miss Americana' Doc." The Hollywood Reporter, 31 Jan. 2020, https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/general-news/taylor-swift-how-sexual-assault-case-inspired-her-get-political-1275341/.

Izz Scott LaMagdeleine is a fact-checker for Snopes.