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Donald Trump Has a New Enemy: Rihanna

Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C.
Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C.

Before he was president, Donald Trump was a pundit.

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He used his Twitter account to comment not only on politics but on celebrity tabloid matters.

When actress Kristen Stewart hosted “Saturday Night Live” in 2017, she commented on how Trump frequently talked of her years-ago relationship with her “Twilight” co-star Robert Pattinson. 

This week, Donald Trump took shots at another celebrity, the pop star Rihanna, ahead of her performance at the Super Bowl Halftime Show this summer. 

Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX), who was Trump’s White House doctor before his run for Congress, had posted earlier in the day that “Rihanna spray painted “F*** Donald Trump” on a car at the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo. She’s made a career of spewing degenerate filth while badmouthing America every chance she gets. Why is the NFL showcasing this crap? Rihanna SHOULD NOT be the halftime performer!!” 

Jackson had posted the same message to both Twitter and Truth Social. 

Donald Trump Responds

Trump, on Truth Social, quoted Jackson and stated that “Without her ‘Stylist’ she’d be NOTHING. Bad everything, and NO TALENT!”

Rihanna indeed spray-painted the anti-Trump slogans, as part of an art installation, in August 2020, and posted it to Instagram.

TV station KSAT reported at the time that “dozens” of supporters of the then-president had made their way to the same ranch to paint over Rihanna’s messages.

Around the same time, Rihanna posted a video to Instagram appearing to show then-First Lady Melania Trump refusing to hold her husband’s hand as they exited Air Force one. 

Rihanna is also one of many popular music artists who have called on Donald Trump not to play their music at his rallies and events. 

It does not appear to be the case that Rihanna has ever been “badmouthing America every chance she gets.”

However, the singer did famously turn down the chance to perform at the halftime show in 2019 out of solidarity with Colin Kaepernick. 

“I couldn’t dare do that. For what? Who gains from that? Not my people. I just couldn’t be a sellout. I couldn’t be an enabler. There’s things within that organization that I do not agree with at all, and I was not about to go and be of service to them in any way,” Rihanna said of that decision in a Vogue interview in 2019. 

In the same interview, Rihanna’s discussed Trump’s reactions to a pair of mass shootings that year. 

“It is devastating,” Rihanna told Vogue “People are being murdered by war weapons that they legally purchase. This is just not normal. That should never, ever be normal. And the fact that it’s classified as something different because of the color of their skin? It’s a slap in the face. It’s completely racist… Put an Arab man with that same weapon in that same Walmart and there is no way that Trump would sit there and address it publicly as a mental health problem. The most mentally ill human being in America right now seems to be the president.”

Ironically, rapper A$AP Rocky, who is Rihanna’s romantic partner and father of her child, was freed from detention in Sweden in 2019 after then-President Trump intervened. Some Trump allies, though, have criticized the performer for not being thankful enough. Rocky said in a later interview that Trump “didn’t help—he made efforts and he rooted for me to come home, but he didn’t free me.”

On the current rankings of accounts with the most Twitter followers, Rihanna is 5th with 107.8 million, while Trump is 8th with 87.6 million. Barack Obama is first with 133.3 million. 

What can we expect from the halftime show on Sunday? Rihanna hinted at the plans in a press conference this week. 

“The setlist was the biggest challenge. That was the hardest, hardest part. Deciding how to maximize 13 minutes but also celebrate — that’s what this show is going to be. It’s going to be a celebration of my catalog in the best way that we could have put it together,” the singer said at the media preview for the event.

BONUS: The Fall of Joe Biden Has Started  

BONUS: Donald Trump Looks At His End 

BONUS: Kamala Harris Should Quit 

BONUS: A Nuclear War over Ukraine

BONUS: Donald Trump Looks Desperate

Expertise and Experience: Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Written By

Stephen Silver is a journalist, essayist, and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review, and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.