Trump and Time magazine dispute Person of the Year plans
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Trump and Time magazine dispute Person of the Year plans

Magazine counters president’s claim he turned down annual accolade, says they only asked for interview and photo shoot

US President Donald Trump speaks to the press before departing from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC on November 21, 2017. (AFP/Andrew Caballero-Reynolds)
US President Donald Trump speaks to the press before departing from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC on November 21, 2017. (AFP/Andrew Caballero-Reynolds)

US President Donald Trump on Friday said he turned down being named Time’s “Person of the Year” after the magazine asked him for an interview and photo shoot but did not confirm he would be chosen.

He tweeted: “Time Magazine called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named ‘Man [Person] of the Year,’ like last year, but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot.

“I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!”

Time responded on its own Twitter account: “The President is incorrect about how we choose Person of the Year. TIME does not comment on our choice until publication, which is December 6.”

Former editor Richard Stengel went further, retweeting Trump’s tweet with the comment: “Hate to tell you but that PROBABLY means you’re NOT Person of the Year. They just wanted a photo shoot. But I’m sure you still have that fake TIME cover somewhere in storage.”

NBC’s Today program reveals that Donald Trump is Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2016 (screen capture: NBC)

The magazine confers the distinction on the person who “for better or for worse… has done the most to influence the events of the year.” Awarded since 1927, the accolade has gone to a wide variety of people — even Adolf Hitler, in 1938, and Joseph Stalin, in 1939 and 1942.

Trump was named the magazine’s 2016 “Person of the Year” following his election, in an edition which carried the title “President of the Divided States of America.”

The former real estate tycoon keeps a close eye on the award, and complained on Twitter in 2012, 2014 and 2015 about not being picked.

In June, The Washington Post revealed several of his golf clubs prominently display a framed copy of a fake Time cover featuring a photo of Trump and several positive headlines.

Since announcing his presidential run, Trump has had an antagonistic relationship with much of the US media, accusing critical outlets of peddling “fake news.”

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