A video appearing to show musician Taylor Swift holding a flag promoting Donald Trump has gone viral on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. But the video is fake.
“Trump Won, Democrats Cheated!” the flag in the altered video reads, referencing the conspiracy theory that Trump actually won the 2020 election. There’s no evidence Trump was cheated out of a second term, as countless courts have found.
The video has been shared by multiple accounts on X and seen by over 4.5 million people at the time of this writing, though it’s unclear how many of those people know it’s a manipulated piece of media.
The real video, which was first published by Variety, shows Taylor Swift at the Grammy Awards on Sunday. The original video makes it clear Swift never held a pro-Trump flag.
Swift has become an unexpected political lightning rod in recent months. Swift first endorsed Joe Biden for president in the lead up to the 2020 election, though the musician has previously said she tries not to overshare her political views.
But conservative media outlets like Fox News have focused their attention on Swift recently, with some pundits like Jesse Waters even claiming the pop superstar is part of a “psyop” orchestrated by the U.S. intelligence agencies. The baseless conspiracy theory insists organizations like the CIA are using Swift to indoctrinate kids into voting for Democrats.
To complicate matters even more, Swift is dating pro football player Travis Kelce, who’s previously done ads to promote the covid-19 vaccines. Kelce’s promotion of basic public health messages has sent conspiracy theorists into a tizzy, given their belief the covid-19 vaccines actually harmed people. There’s no evidence the covid-19 vaccines are harmful and are widely understood by the mainstream scientific community to have saved countless lives.
The Super Bowl is this coming weekend, which means the conspiracy theories and manipulated videos involving Swift are probably going to become even more common. But all we can say with certainty for now is that Swift never held up a flag promoting Donald Trump. And unless her political views have changed dramatically in the past four years, she’s unlikely to do that anytime soon.