Former Trump Official Says She Was Warned About Playing Taylor Swift's Music at Work: 'The Fear Was Real'
A former Trump administration official says she was warned about being a Taylor Swift fan — and that playing the superstar's music at work could cost her a job.
Olivia Troye, who worked as a homeland security and counterterrorism advisor to Vice President Mike Pence under Gen. Keith Kellogg, was recently interviewed by Chris Hayes about claims that administration colleagues engaged what the MSNBC host called "obsessive, paranoid, quasi-authoritarian enforcement of loyalty" towards the former president.
"It's very accurate," Troye, who eventually left her job and became an outspoken critic of Trump, told Hayes.
Troye said that John McEntee, Trump's Director of White House presidential personnel, made it difficult for cabinet-level officials to find and hire staff because McEntee blocked "qualified" people he worried didn't support the president.
"The fear was real," Troye said. "It was well known that there were social media checks being conducted. I had a conversation with Gen. Keith Kellogg directly, where he told me to watch my every move, to be careful."
In Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show, author Jonathan Karl writes about McEntee's "efforts to purge" members of Sec. Ben Carson's Department of Housing and Urban Development who were "deemed insufficiently loyal to Trump."
In a chapter called "Swearing Loyalty," Karl describes an incident that raised concerns among Trump officials, when an assistant to Carson had liked one of Swift's Instagram posts that showed her with a plate of cookies decorated with the Biden-Harris campaign logo.
Troye said she also had a run-in with a colleague who warned her about being a fan of Swift when she was in her office at night after losing an argument during a frustrating meeting.
"I came back and was playing Taylor Swift really loud in my office that night," she said. "I had a colleague knock on my door and he said, 'Are you trying to get fired?' I was super confused about that — like for being blunt in meetings or for what? And he said, 'Well, I don't think she's a fan of Trump's so if somebody hears that, you should really watch your back. You should be careful on that.'"
Swift, 31, opened up about her disapproval of Trump ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
Troye told Hayes she was "astonished" by the encounter.
"It's late and I'm allowed to listen to whatever music I want," she said. "This is sort of how this White House was run and that is what I fear for the future of our country when some of these people are in power like this and they remain in power."