He said the publication called to say he was “probably” going to be named for the accolade, but that he needed more certainty and “took a pass”.
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
However Time magazine has since responded that “the President is incorrect about how we choose Person of the Year”, and that it would not comment on its choice until publication on 6 December.
The Person of the Year award, which began as Man of the Year in 1927, was bestowed upon Trump last year. He has featured on the magazine's cover 14 times and previously falsely claimed this was a record. In fact, former US Presidents Obama, Clinton, Reagan and Nixon all exceed Trump's total.
Former Time editor Richard Stengel, who also served as under secretary of state for Barack Obama, said that the word “probably” meant Trump would not be person of the year.
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
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
He instead referenced a revelation from The Washington Post which found that Trump has framed copies of a fake Time cover displayed prominently in several of his golf courses. The cover features Trump's face, and several praises for the now-President.