Taylor Swift’s apolitical days are officially over. In a new interview with the Guardian, Swift took direct aim at President Trump. “We’re a democracy – at least, we’re supposed to be – where you’re allowed to disagree, dissent, debate. I really think that he thinks this is an autocracy,” Swift said of the president.
Her comments mark the latest chapter in Swift’s recent entrance into political discourse, something she was widely criticized for avoiding during the 2016 election and its aftermath. Because she avoided explicitly endorsing Hillary Clinton at the time, Swift inadvertently emerged as an unwitting emblem for the “alt-right.”
In the interview, the singer explained why she avoided entering the political fray at the time, citing her very public feud with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. “I was just trying to protect my mental health – not read the news very much, go cast my vote, tell people to vote,” she said. “I just knew what I could handle and I knew what I couldn’t. I was literally about to break.”
Swift went on to accuse Trump of “gaslighting the American public into being like, ‘If you hate the president, you hate America.’”
Her comments are by far the furthest she’s gone in directly calling out Trump and his administration. In June, she wrote an open letter to Republican Tennessee senator Lamar Alexander, in which she urged him to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination via the Equality Act.
She also promised that this is just the beginning of “woke” Taylor, as she’s prepared to “do everything I can for 2020.” The full interview runs in The Guardian this Saturday, and Swift’s seventh album, Lover, is available on all platforms this Friday.