Time magazine is disputing President Donald Trump’s claim that he rejected the magazine’s request for an interview and "major photo shoot" ahead of its “Person of the Year” issue.
In a tweet late Friday as he spent the Thanksgiving holiday in Florida, Trump sounded dismissive of the honor he received last year and could well receive again.
Trump said the magazine informed him he was “probably” going to be granted the title for the second year in a row. He tweeted: “I said probably is no good and took a pass.”
Time later posted a tweet of its own disputing Trump's account.
Alan Murray, chief content officer at Time Inc., said there was "not a speck of truth" to the president's claims.
Rick Stengel, a former Time managing editor who left the publication to join the Obama administration State Department, said he thinks Trump fired off the tweet to preempt the fact that he wasn't selected.
"I suspected that perhaps he knew he wasn't going to get it and he wanted to look like he was turning it down before he was turned down," Stengel told NBC News.
Stengel said the magazine typically interviews multiple candidates for the Person of the Year issue, and that it's likely that the president could be a finalist, but he doubts that editors would consider Trump for the recognition two years in a row.
Trump frequently brags about appearing on the cover of the iconic magazine. He has falsely claimed to hold the record for cover appearances, and was revealed earlier this year to have displayed fake issues of Time with himself on the cover at several of his private golf clubs.
Famous sports personalities and actors also took to Twitter on Friday to mock the president's claim that he had declined to be interviewed.
Star Wars actor Mark Hamill posted that "Time Magazine called to say that I was DEFINITELY going to be named "Man (Person) of the Year" but I would have to agree to leak major #Ep8 spoilers."
New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard tweeted: "Sports Illustrated called and said I was probably going to be Sportsman of the Year, but it was going to take a long photo shoot and interview. I'm not proud of my recent perm and have interpretive dance class at the interview time so I turned it down! No Thanks SI!!"
Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus and British tennis star Andy Murray also weighed in:
Time's Person of the Year is defined by the weekly as "a person (or people) who has had the most influence over the news in the last 12 months." Awarded since 1927, the accolade has gone to a wide variety of people — even Adolf Hitler, in 1938, and Joseph Stalin, in 1939 and 1942.
The magazine will unveil its Person of the Year on Dec. 6.