Beating Donald Trump To Time Magazine Person Of The Year Is Just The Start - CATEGORY Breaking news: TITLE

TIME magazine is rebuffing U.S. President Donald Trump‘s claim that he was informed he would likely be named Person of the Year.

Trump tweeted that TIME asked him to do an interview and photo shoot because he was “probably” going to get the gong for the second year running, but he declined because “probably” wasn’t good enough for him.

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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

But former TIME  journalists soon responded, casting doubts on the president’s version of events.

The magazine’s former managing editor Richard Stengel tweeted the following response:

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.

— Richard Stengel (@stengel) November 24, 2017

James Poniewozik, a journalist who wrote a column for TIME for 15 years, said Trump was likely just setting up to be able to claim “I didn’t want it” when he isn’t picked.

I worked at Time mag for 15 years. Doesn’t work this way.

1. Time tries to interview/shoot several possibilities

2. Agreeing to shoot/interview not a condition of being picked

DJT probably angling to set up “I didn’t want it” when he doesn’t get picked (2x/row would be unusual)

— James Poniewozik (@poniewozik) November 24, 2017

TIME eventually issued its own response.

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.

— TIME (@TIME) November 25, 2017

Trump was named Person of the Year in 2016, after his shock win in the U.S. presidential election.

“For nearly 17 months on the campaign trail, Trump did what no American politician had attempted in a generation, with defiant flair,” TIME wrote in 2016. “Instead of painting a bright vision for a unified future, he magnified the divisions of the present, inspiring new levels of anger and fear within his country.”

“Whatever you think of the man, this much is undeniable: he uncovered an opportunity others didn’t believe existed, the last, greatest deal for a 21st century salesman.”

READ MORE: President-elect Donald Trump is TIME magazine’s person of the year

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was recognized in 2015, a decision that Trump clearly disagreed with.

I told you @TIME Magazine would never pick me as person of the year despite being the big favorite They picked person who is ruining Germany

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 9, 2015

Thank you @oreillyfactor for your wonderful editorial as to why I should have been @TIME Magazine's Person of the Year. You should run Time!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 10, 2015

The prior year, in 2014, Trump retweeted a comment from a Twitter user who opined that TIME should pick Trump as Person of the Year because “we need you in 2016.”

Trump does feature in this year’s shortlist of some 33 candidates, which includes the likes of Hillary Clinton, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Russian President Vladimir Putin, North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-Un, disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and NFL player and activist Colin Kaepernick.

WATCH: Does Donald Trump have ‘devil horns’ on the cover of ‘Time’?


The only person to receive the recognition in consecutive years was also a Republican president — Richard Nixon in 1971 and 1972, back when the award was called Man of the Year or Woman of the Year.

The tradition began in 1927, with Charles Lindbergh named Man of the Year for becoming the first person to fly a plane solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

In recent years, readers have been invited to cast their votes online, although TIME‘s editors make the final call.

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