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When Taylor Swift accepted her award for Video of the Year at the 2019 VMAs, she called out the White House for not acknowledging her Equality Act petition. "I want to thank everyone who signed that petition because it has half a million signatures, which is five times the amount it would need to warrant a response from the White House," she explained, pointing to her wrist. Now she's clearly ruffled some feathers in White House, with Kellyanne Conway taking aim at the singer in particular.
"I would love to just survey the audience if they know what that even is, what the Equality Act is and isn't," Conway said in an interview on Fox News when shown Swift's acceptance speech. "But she's welcome to her opinion," she added. "I actually like the new Taylor Swift song. It's called 'You Need to Calm Down.' I can sing it for you."
She then proceeded to recite some of the lyrics from the song. "'If you say it on the street, that’s a knockout / If you put it in a tweet, that’s a cop-out,'" she sang. "I love that! I mean, that basically is Washington in a nutshell. [...] I think when Hollywood and singers and all go political, it sounds in the moment like it’s very popular, and you’ve seen so many times where it backfires and it blows up. But she’s also somebody who went up against President Trump head to head in the United States Senate race in Tennessee and lost handily. Marsha Blackburn is our United States senator now."
She continued, "The president and the White House support equality. We don’t support pieces of legislation that have poison pills in it that can harm other people." That "poison pills" phrase has turned in the White House's response to the Equality Act before. "Look at this economy—it’s equally open to everyone. People have job mobility, the deregulation, what he’s trying to do, peace and prosperity around the world—that’s to benefit everyone. But when something is named something, it’s not always truly that."
The White House issued a statement that was almost identical to the one issued three months ago, as CNN reports. "The Trump administration absolutely opposes discrimination of any kind and supports the equal treatment of all; however, the House-passed bill in its current form is filled with poison pills that threaten to undermine parental and conscience rights," White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said, echoing Conway's statements.
As Conway's interview on Fox News came to a close, Conway urged Swift to "give a shout-out to the USMCA," which is the United States-Mexico-Canada agreement.