Rumors of a Taylor Swift sighting on Capitol Hill spread quickly Wednesday afternoon, but congressional offices said they had no reason to believe the pop icon had paid a visit.
The buzz appears to have been started by a reporter for The Hill, who tweeted that sources told her Taylor Swift would be in the Russell Senate office building “at some point” today for a meeting.
Don Stewart, an aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, responded (apparently in jest) to the reporter’s tweet with a photograph purporting to show Swift walking through the Capitol rotunda.
The story quickly took on a life of its own. Before long, interns, Senate pages and young staffers scrambled around the halls of congressional office buildings searching for the quick and elusive Swift.
With Twitter a flutter Taylor Swift is coming to Capitol Hill all work has stopped as interns and young staff go on the hunt. pic.twitter.com/Ull0ZuWGdh— Emily Goodin (@Emilylgoodin) July 11, 2018
Swift performed at a concert last night at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland.
One iteration of the rumor suggested the famed singer was meeting with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat from New York. Gillibrand’s office denied Swift had been there.
Then bipartisan congressional sources told Fox News there is no “official” expectation that Swift would appear on the Hill today. One source noted that the Senate and House office buildings are open to the public — so if Swift were on Capitol grounds, it’s possible none of the offices would know.
Despite the Tayhunt, no one claimed to have seen Swift firsthand, and congressional offices denied she visited or is expected to visit.
At least one high-profile female celebrity was at the Capitol Complex today. Actress Jane Fonda joined Democratic congresswomen on the Hill for an event to discuss women’s rights and equality, including fighting sexual harassment and equal pay.
A gaggle of interns looking for Swift did not notice Fonda walk by, according to a Daily Mail reporter.
Jane Fonda walked into the Russell building and none of the interns waiting for Taylor Swift blinked pic.twitter.com/9HXtjBWtUS— Emily Goodin (@Emilylgoodin) July 11, 2018
Today's Swift hoax was not the first to grip the Hill in recent years. A similar rumor in 2015 caused some red cheeks once it was ruled a false alarm.
True to the title of her recent album, all it takes is Swift’s “Reputation” to set off a frenzy.
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Morgan Phillips and Bill Clark contributed reporting.