Haters gonna hate: Pentagon pushes back against Fox News conspiracy theory involving Taylor Swift – POLITICO

Defense
Watters on Tuesday told viewers that “around four years ago, the Pentagon’s psychological operations unit floated turning Taylor Swift into an asset.”
Fox News host Jesse Watters suggested this week that pop star Taylor Swift could be “a front for a covert political agenda.” | Ashley Landis/AP
By Olivia Alafriz

Updated:
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There may be bad blood between Taylor Swift and Fox News — but the Pentagon is coming to her defense.
The Department of Defense on Wednesday responded after Fox News host Jesse Watters suggested this week that pop star Taylor Swift could be “a front for a covert political agenda.”
Watters on Tuesday, during his show Jesse Watters Primetime, told viewers that “around four years ago, the Pentagon’s psychological operations unit floated turning Taylor Swift into an asset.”
He then showed a clip from a 2019 conference organized by the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence, where a presenter appears to name Taylor Swift merely as an example of a powerful influencer.
“It’s real. The Pentagon psy-op unit pitched NATO on turning Taylor Swift into an asset for combating misinformation online,” Watters said.
But on Wednesday, Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh pushed back against Watters claim, referencing one of Swift’s big hits by saying in a statement, “as for this conspiracy theory, we are going to shake it off.”
“But that does highlight that we still need Congress to approve our supplemental budget request as Swift-ly as possible so we can be out of the woods with potential fiscal concerns,” Singh added, seizing the opportunity to slyly highlight a Swift song by telling Congress “I Wish You Would” grant the administration its supplemental budget request.
The Pentagon has butted heads with Fox News hosts in the past, and several anonymous officials cheered Tucker Carlson’s departure last year.
Representatives for Swift did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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