Toward the end of a long interview with Kellyanne Conway on Fox News Tuesday night, host Martha MacCallum brought up a message that pop star Taylor Swift sent to the Trump White House during a speech at the previous night’s MTV Video Music Awards.
Accepting the Video of the Year award for her pro-LGBTQ+ rights anthem “You Need to Calm Down,” Swift noted her support for a petition on the Equality Act bill, which has passed the Democratic-led House but has not been brought up for a vote in the Senate.
“It now has half a million signatures, which is five times the amount that it would need to warrant a response from the White House,” Swift said from the stage, comically tapping an imaginary watch on her wrist.
“I would love to survey the audience if they know what that even is, what the Equality Act even is,” Conway said derisively after watching the clip. “But she’s welcome to have her opinion.”
Interrupting her guest, MacCallum said, “The LGBTQ community believes it would give them greater equality in the workplace and elsewhere.”
But instead of addressing the issue, Conway said that she “actually” likes the song for which Swift won her award. “I can sing it for you,” she said with a smile, before breaking into timid song: “If you say it on the street, that’s a knockout / If you put it in a tweet, that’s a cop out.”
“I love that,” Conway added, failing to grasp the inherent criticism of her boss’ primary mode of communication in those lines. “That basically is Washington in a nutshell.”
As Conway continued to attack “Hollywood singers” for getting “political,” and Swift specifically for failing to get a Democratic senator elected in Tennessee, MacCallum jumped in with an important question: “Can you give her one answer for why the White House doesn’t support the Equality Act?”
“The president and the White House support equality,” Conway insisted. “We don’t support pieces of legislation that have poison pills in it that can harm other people.” Without getting specific about what she meant by “poison pills,” she added, “When something is named something, it’s not always truly that.”