Donald Trump has claimed Time Magazine called him to say he was "probably" going to be their "Man of the Year", but that he turned it down because "probably" wasn't good enough.
"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,' the President tweeted. "I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!"
Time did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The magazine named Mr Trump "Person of the Year" in 2016, following his shocking victory over Hillary Clinton. Time defended the controversial decision by saying the award is given to "the person who had the greatest influence, for better or worse, on the events of the year".
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
In an editorial explaining the decision, then-Editor in Chief Nancy Gibbs framed it as such: "For reminding America that demagoguery feeds on despair and that truth is only as powerful as the trust in those who speak it, for empowering a hidden electorate by mainstreaming its furies and live-streaming its fears, and for framing tomorrow’s political culture by demolishing yesterday’s, Donald Trump is TIME’s 2016 Person of the Year."
Time's "Person of the Year" is decided by the magazine's editors in a secretive process. A public "Person of the Year" poll is also taken into account. Only a handful of employees know who the winner is before the decision is announced.
Before he won "Person of the Year," Mr Trump hung a fake Time Magazine cover in several of his golf clubs, declaring him "a television smash!" A Time Inc spokesperson confirmed to the Washington Post earlier this year that the magazine has never published such an issue.
But the President has also had his qualms with the classic publication. Shortly after his election last year, Mr Trump complained to a crowd of supporters that the magazine should return to calling it's award "Man of the Year".
“They used to call it ‘Man of the Year’ but they can’t do that anymore so they call it person — they want to be politically correct, that’s OK," he said at a rally in Iowa.
The first "Man of the Year" was named in 1928, and the first "Woman of the Year" followed in 1937. It was changed to a gender-neutral title in 1999.