Time disputes Trump's Person of the Year claim

Time disputes Trump's Person of the Year claim

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Time magazine has disputed claims by Donald Trump that he rejected a request for an interview and photo ahead of its Person of the Year award.

The US President had tweeted he turned down the chance to be given the coveted title after the publication asked for the opportunity to meet him without confirming 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 Twitter, saying: “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.”

The magazine’s award has been won since it was started in 1927 by many US presidents and other major world figures, including Mahatma Gandhi, Joseph Stalin, Queen Elizabeth II and Winston Churchill.

The title is defined by the weekly publication as “a person (or people) who has had the most influence over the news in the last 12 months”.

Mr Trump won the award in 2016.

In the 2017 award, an online readers’ poll has Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman some way out in front, with #MeToo second and Donald Trump third.

A former editor of the magazine Richard Stengel had a message for the President: “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.”

He was referring to a Washington Post report in June, which revealed that several of Mr Trump’s golf clubs display a made-up version of the Person of the Year cover, with positive headlines gracing his portrait.

British tennis player Andy Murray was among those who made a joke of Mr Trump’s tweet, sarcastically writing: “BBC just called to say I was PROBABLY going to be named sports personality of the 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!”

Actor and comedian David Schneider joined in: “Hollywood just called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named the next James Bond 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!”

Mr Trump’s professed indifference to the award contrasts a little with previous years, where he has paid close attention to the judges’ decision.

In 2012, 2014 and 2015, he even complained about not being picked – on Twitter, of course.

After the magazine gave him the title last year, it described him as the “President of the Divided States of America”.

At the time, explaining their decision, the judges wrote: “It’s hard to measure the scale of his disruption.

“This real estate baron and casino owner turned reality-TV star and provocateur-never a day spent in public office, never a debt owed to any interest besides his own-now surveys the smoking ruin of a vast political edifice that once housed parties, pundits, donors, pollsters, all those who did not see him coming or take him seriously.”

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