9 of the most buzzy social media moments in politics of 2018 originally appeared on abcnews.go.com
In 2018, politics and pop culture collided and made for viral moments as celebrities, public figures and everyday citizens weighed in on the news of the day.
ABC News examined this year's Twitter analytics released earlier this month and narrowed down what posts were most shared, and what public figures netted the most buzz.
Here's the countdown of nine moments when the pop culture of America's Main Street went head-to-head with Washington, D.C.'s Pennsylvania Avenue in 2018.
9.) Kanye West at the White House
Controversial rapper-turned-prison reform activist, Kanye West, made headlines in October during his extended Oval Office meeting with President Donald Trump to discuss a wide range of topics including tax breaks, racism, mental health and the need for art programs in schools.
In a moment that inspired viral posts and memes galore, West and the president shared a bromantic moment.
Trump said the rapper “could very well be” a future presidential candidate, to which West responded, “Only after 2024.”
“Let’s stop worrying about the future, all we have is today," West said. "Trump is on his hero’s journey right now. He might not have thought he’d have a crazy m-----f----- like [me].”
— Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) October 11, 2018
8.) Kim Kardashian West advocating for prison reform
In a collision of two reality television worlds, West's wife, Kim Kardashian West, also visited the White House twice this year to discuss prison reform with the president as well as with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.
This tete-a-tete resulted in a picture of Kardashian West and the president in the Oval Office that nearly rivaled that other time she broke the internet.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2018
Trump and his son-in-law adviser, Kushner, have taken up the cause this year on a prison reform bill that could receive a Senate vote before 2018 ends.
Kardashian West also successfully lobbied Trump in June to commute the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, a first-time nonviolent drug offender who was serving a life sentence. She was released the same month.
It started with Ms. Alice, but looking at her and seeing the faces and learning the stories of the men and women I’ve met inside prisons I knew I couldn’t stop at just one. It’s time for REAL systemic change pic.twitter.com/kdKr8s6lJW
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) September 5, 2018
7.) Taylor Swift broke her political silence
In an October evening Instagram post, pop singer and Tennessee native Taylor Swift broke her political silence and endorsed former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen over Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn in the state's Senate race. Swift historically remained apolitical in her pop music career.
Swift said she would vote for two Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate and House in Tennessee, but she urged her followers to vote for candidates of their choice.
"Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values. For a lot of us, we may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100% on every issue, but we have to vote anyway," she wrote.
I’m writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I’ll be voting in the state of Tennessee. In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now. I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country. I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent. I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love. Running for Senate in the state of Tennessee is a woman named Marsha Blackburn. As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me. She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not MY Tennessee values. I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives. Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values. For a lot of us, we may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100% on every issue, but we have to vote anyway. So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count. But first you need to register, which is quick and easy to do. October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN. Go to vote.org and you can find all the info. Happy Voting! ??????
A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on Oct 7, 2018 at 4:33pm PDT
While it is unclear what type of reach her post had, according to Vote.org, 240,000 people around the country used the website to register to vote in the 48 hours following Swift's call to action to her 112 million Instagram followers.
6.) LeBron James opened a school -- and then Trump started a Twitter feud
President Trump used Twitter to bash both NBA superstar LeBron James and CNN host Don Lemon, after seeing an interview between the two meant to promote James' "I Promise School" which he had recently opened for at-risk students. During the interview, James accused Trump of enabling racists and using sports to divide the country.
Trump didn't like that.
Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 4, 2018
Though James didn’t reply directly to Trump, he sent out a tweet the following day that suggested he was more focused on the school he was opening.
— Congressman Tim Ryan (@RepTimRyan) August 4, 2018
LeBron James is helping young people get an education. You are an old delusional racist who puts our country at risk.
— Adam Rippon (@Adaripp) August 4, 2018
Rather than criticizing @KingJames, we should be celebrating him for his charity work and efforts to help kids.
By the way, all-around he’s better than Michael Jordan. That’s a fact.
— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) August 4, 2018
5.) Books about the White House -- and Trump's rebuttal to Omarosa, Michael Wolff and Bob Woodward
It was a year of books, specifically ones detailing the inner workings of the White House -- some with scandalous details.
Three notable books were "Fear: Trump in the White House," by famed investigative journalist Bob Woodward; "Fire and Fury," by columnist Michael Wolff; and "Unhinged," by former Trump ally Omarosa Manigault Newman.
Twitter erupted during the Grammy awards in January when host James Corden had celebrities -- including Trump’s 2016 competitor, Hillary Clinton -- read from Wolff’s book, "Fire and Fury."
On the hunt for a GRAMMY Award of his own, James Corden auditions celebrities for the spoken word version of Michael Wolff's "Fire and Fury." pic.twitter.com/SjTobAbv2N
— ?? Frosty the Late Late Showman ?? (@latelateshow) January 29, 2018
The Woodward book has already been refuted and discredited by General (Secretary of Defense) James Mattis and General (Chief of Staff) John Kelly. Their quotes were made up frauds, a con on the public. Likewise other stories and quotes. Woodward is a Dem operative? Notice timing?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 4, 2018
Michael Wolff is a total loser who made up stories in order to sell this really boring and untruthful book. He used Sloppy Steve Bannon, who cried when he got fired and begged for his job. Now Sloppy Steve has been dumped like a dog by almost everyone. Too bad! https://t.co/mEeUhk5ZV9
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2018
When you give a crazed, crying lowlife a break, and give her a job at the White House, I guess it just didn’t work out. Good work by General Kelly for quickly firing that dog!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 14, 2018
4.) Trump’s response to Hurricane Maria’s death toll and the backlash that followed
Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in 2017 and the reverberations from the storm that claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 people were still felt well into 2018.
In August, the governor of the U.S. territory formally raised the number of deaths from 64 to 2,975, a number President Trump rejected. He tweeted, “3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico.”
3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000...
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 13, 2018
Now trump is claiming the death toll in Puerto Rico is fake news. That deaths are not real. Republicans-stay under your rocks and watch your party be dismantled because of your silence. Cages for babies, and deaths for people of color. This is your president. What a horrible man.
— Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) September 13, 2018
Your inept response to the catastrophe in Puerto Rico caused the deaths of nearly 3000 American men, women and children. You dismissed the gravity of their predicament and utterly failed in your responsibility as president. This is a stain you must bear for the rest of your life
— Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) September 13, 2018
You owe 3,000 families in Puerto Rico an apology. Stop the shameful attack on deceased fellow Americans and focus on the response to Hurricane Florence. https://t.co/poOE0RDJId
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) September 13, 2018
These days even tragedy becomes political. 3k more Americans died in #PuertoRico after Hurricane than during comparable periods before. Both Fed & local gov made mistakes. We all need to stop the blame game & focus on recovery, helping those still hurting & fixing the mistakes. https://t.co/NQRKWbWEdh
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) September 13, 2018
I disagree with @POTUS– an independent study said thousands were lost and Gov. Rosselló agreed. I've been to Puerto Rico 7 times & saw devastation firsthand. The loss of any life is tragic; the extent of lives lost as a result of Maria is heart wrenching. I'll continue to help PR
— Rick Scott (@ScottforFlorida) September 13, 2018
3.) The Kavanaugh-Ford Senate hearings captivate the nation
Christine Blasey Ford's testimony, as well as the one that followed by now Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, riveted social media. As Ford read her opening statement, Twitter communications manager Nick Pacilio tweeted that all 10 of the top trends were about the hearing.
Wow. 10 out of 10 US Twitter trends right now are about the #KavanaughHearings
— Nick Pacilio (@NickPacilio) September 27, 2018
Among the trending terms that day were #KavanaughHearings, Grassley, Dr. Ford, Feinstein, Brett and Mark, and #KavanaughFord.
— Amanda Aronczyk (@aronczyk) September 27, 2018
Brenda from Missouri calls C-SPAN
"I'm a 76-year-old woman who was sexually molested in 2nd grade. This brings back so much pain. Thought I was over it but it's not. You will never forget it. You get confused & you don't understand it but you never forget what happened to you." pic.twitter.com/uCgroeQ4B5
— CSPAN (@cspan) September 27, 2018
This is true.
Even Alyssa Milano looks taken.
(Likely not why the Democrats plopped her in the audience and camera shot) https://t.co/mpSChDFIY6
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) September 27, 2018
Wallace on GOP prosecutor: "She hasn't scored a point, meanwhile the Democrats are landing haymakers."
— Jeremy Barr (@jeremymbarr) September 27, 2018
2.) March for Our Lives demonstrations
In the wake of the deadly Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, calls for action and gun control have seemingly grown louder in 2018 than in previous years.
Then on March 24, thousands of people hit the streets of Washington, D.C., and cities across the nation to show their support for gun reform at March For Our Lives demonstrations.
So ready to March today! Landed in DC w North & Kanye. We stand in solidarity with the survivors of gun violence & students who are calling for action on common sense gun safety laws at #MarchForOurLives around the country @AMarch4OurLives @Everytown
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) March 24, 2018
I’ll always stand for open dialogue and action - it’s the only way to ensure bad history doesn’t repeat itself. When it comes to protecting our children, all bets are off and the responsibility lies with us adults and lawmakers to listen and do. Very strong day. #MarchForOurLives pic.twitter.com/4gJ0QKdMYw
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) March 24, 2018
I'm proud to support the amazing students behind #MarchForOurLives. Today they are marching on Washington DC to demand an end to gun violence in US schools and communities. Please show your solidarity: https://t.co/0boM1KLavO pic.twitter.com/CnF8UxnVh9
— Emma Watson (@EmmaWatson) March 24, 2018
— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) March 24, 2018
1.) Separated families at the border and that jacket
The Trump administration's policy of family separation at the border engulfed the news cycle for several weeks this summer, a rare lifespan in the age of Trump. Not only did the administration receive domestic condemnation, but it also garnered strong international pushback from one of America’s strongest allies, the United Kingdom.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) June 20, 2018
As backlash and calls for reunification for migrant families mounted, Trump tweeted that children were “being used by some of the worst criminals on earth as a means to enter our country.”
Children are being used by some of the worst criminals on earth as a means to enter our country. Has anyone been looking at the Crime taking place south of the border. It is historic, with some countries the most dangerous places in the world. Not going to happen in the U.S.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 18, 2018
CHANGE THE LAWS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 18, 2018
First lady Melania Trump then visited immigrant children in south Texas who had been separated from their parents, but her jacket gained more attention than the visit itself. The army green jacket that read, “I really don’t care. Do U?” unleashed another flurry of backlash online and in the media.
It's endless with these morons.https://t.co/Zuph1E6qw7
— Julia Louis-Dreyfus (@OfficialJLD) June 22, 2018
bet Melania is really wishing she'd gone with the "IT IS IMPORTANT TO MAINTAIN THE APPEARANCE OF CARING" jacket instead
— Alexandra Petri (@petridishes) June 21, 2018
Since Melania Trump's jacket said "I really don't care"...
I set up https://t.co/GL1FF0KpBs
Click the link and it'll take you to a site where you can donate to 14 awesome groups helping immigrants all at once. Feel free to RT if that's your jam. pic.twitter.com/TPc4y4ZUfh
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) June 21, 2018