U.S. President Donald Trump made a bizarre statement in which he said that he turned down a potential offer to be TIME Magazine's "person of the year" because the magazine informed that they would “probably” grant him the title.
“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," Trump tweeted.
"I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!" Trump finished in his signature tweet style.
Trump refused to call the title by its correct name, “person of the year”, because he believes the title should not be gender neutral, a decision that was made by the magazine in 1999 to promote inclusiveness.
“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," Trump once said in a rally.
The magazine responded on Twitter by 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.”
Alan Murray, Time Inc.'s chief content officer, later said in a statement that Trump’s brazen remark did not contain “a speck of truth."
"Amazing. Not a speck of truth here—Trump tweets he 'took a pass' at being named TIME's person of the year," Murray tweeted, with an attached CNN article regarding the remark.
Trump had already been named “person of the year” in 2016 when he won the U.S. presidential election, beating his rival, Hillary Clinton.
The magazine’s former Editor-in-Chief, Nancy Gibbs, explained this decision, which was decried by critics, saying that, "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."
CNN reports that Trump had long coveted the magazine’s title before he won it in 2016 and had even forged covers of the magazine depicting himself as “person of the year.” TIME had asked Trump to take down the fake magazines after reports documented that the former reality TV star had fake copies of the magazine displayed at least 5 of his golf clubs.
Social media erupted with replies to the president’s outrageous statement, which many see as the embodiment of his character and his presidency thus far.