Last year, President Donald Trump was named by Time magazine as its “Person of the Year,” right after he had surprisingly won the 2016 U.S. presidential elections over his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. And it looks like he might have had a chance to win the honor for a second straight year had he not turned down the offer, as suggested by a tweet sent out by the president on Friday evening.
As it seems, Trump’s decision to refuse Time’s Person of the Year opportunity boiled down to the lack of certainty behind the offer, as well as the publication’s requirements that the president sit down for an interview and photo shoot.
“I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!”
Trump also made a brief reference to Time‘s decision to use the words “Person of the Year” instead of “Man/Woman of the Year” to describe a calendar year’s biggest newsmaker, as he called the honor “Man (Person) of the Year” on his tweet. CNN wrote last year that Trump seemed uncomfortable with Time‘s switch to more “politically correct” language, saying at first that being Person of the Year was a “very, very great honor,” but commenting in a subsequent speech that politically correct language “could be why the magazine business isn’t so great.”
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 24, 2017
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. https://t.co/HkW1XkKxXK
— Richard Stengel (@stengel) November 24, 2017
According to USA Today, Donald Trump’s tweet about turning down the Time Person of the Year offer got a quick reply from Richard Stengel, the magazine’s former managing editor. As Stengel explained, there might have been some confusion with the language Time used, as the word “probably” meant the magazine simply wanted to invite the president for a photo shoot, but not name him as 2017’s Person of the Year.
Toward the end of his tweet, Stengel referred to the fake Time magazine cover Trump reportedly had hanging from at least five of his private clubs, before the publication asked his Trump Organization to remove the covers. In addition to this controversy, USA Today also mentioned how Trump “falsely claimed” to have the most number of appearances on Time‘s cover, and also called out German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2015 for winning Person of the Year honors, saying that Time chose a “person who is ruining Germany” instead of a “big favorite” like himself.
— The Independent (@Independent) November 24, 2017
Why doesn’t this Idiot just keep his mouth shut instead of lying? https://t.co/SjKkkoPUse
— Barry Corindia (@barry_corindia) November 25, 2017
Meanwhile, reactions on social media to Donald Trump’s tweet that Time was interested in “probably” making him a two-time Person of the Year have been popping up left and right in the two hours or so since Trump made the post. Some Twitter users accused him of lying about the offer, while suggesting names such as special counsel Robert Mueller and NFL free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick as candidates Time could name if it really wanted to troll the president. Mueller currently oversees the federal investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with the Russian government to rig the results of the 2016 presidential elections in his favor, while Kaepernick was seen as the main target of Trump’s comments when he said in September that the NFL should fire “any son of a b***h” who kneels during the singing of the U.S. national anthem.
[Featured Image by Alex Wong/Getty Images]