A TikToker has done a lot of clarifying after pro-Trump supporters misinterpreted videos she made mocking Trump's dancing and turned her into an overnight MAGA hero.
Julia Keith, 26, is going on the record to BuzzFeed News to say she was poking fun at how the president "dances like how a lot of white people in America dance."
"I was just making people laugh — I don't want to be a MAGA icon," she said.
Unfortunately for Keith, after she posted her first TikTok trying to copy Trump's dance moves at one of his rallies, a wave of supporters began commenting with "Trump 2020" because they thought she was celebrating his dance moves.
Keith said she had no "real political motives" for posting her videos, but it was "definitely not a pro-Trump dance."
"I thought the dance was hilarious, it was the ultimate white dad type of dance moves," she said. "I’d been dancing my whole life. I did classical ballet for 15 years and I got up to try to do his dance and I was stumped. It took me an hour.
"It was so bad, it was impressive."
Within hours, she realized the tone was being completely misconstrued when MAGA TikTok discovered her videos and began praising her for it. "That's my president," some commented gleefully. "Love the Trump dance," others wrote.
As more MAGA users engaged with her videos, TikTok algorithmically fed it to more MAGA users. Keith said at one point the entire comment section was flooded with pro-Trump campaign slogans.
"It took a hard right...pun intended," she quipped. "There were a lot of 40- to 50-year-old people commenting, which is not my niche. I'm more alt TikTok."
Keith said people began messaging her and reposting her videos with messages like "Love her, love my president" and "We're dancing for four more years."
"People told me on Facebook their parents were sending it around being like, 'We need more girls like her,'" Keith said about the burst of misguided fandom she received online.
Trump dance!! Love it! ❤️💙❤️💙 https://t.co/z3YcYQ7PQk
At one point, Ivanka Trump even reshared a tweet implying that Keith's TikTok was a viral trend for Trump. "Love it!" Ivanka tweeted.
Love it! https://t.co/taww2dUgqD
Keith realized then that things were getting out of hand. She said a friend called and advised her that she now has a viral platform and she could have unintentionally influenced people politically with her dancing.
"I can't even fathom that I would have a hand in this election, and that people see [my video] and thinking, 'Oh he's a great guy,'" she said. "How many people did I cause to vote? But also, who would vote based on a video?"
Earlier this week, Keith posted another TikTok playfully clarifying her position. "This is ✨not✨ what I intended," she captioned it. That video has also gone viral.
Keith said she's not sure if the message has reached MAGA country. No one's reached out to her, but she's also noticed the fandom has become quieter since.
"Some people still commented 'Trump 2020,' and I was like, do you still not get it?!" she said about reactions to her most recent video.
The bizarre experience has, however, taught Keith that she could use her viral fame to share more intentionally political TikToks. She recently posted one informing new voters in the upcoming election about how to prepare their ballot.