The all-too-flattering cover of TIME Magazine featuring a heavily-Photoshopped Donald Trump in a striking pose in the Oval Office certainly came as a surprise to much of the public, after the history of relatively sour relations between the man and the magazine. The legendary weekly publication has even tried to shame the President into removing fakes from the walls of his golf resorts that falsely depict him as “Man of the Year,” a distinction he clearly covets.
But it was especially strange to see him treated so favorably after reading the transcript of his conversation with TIME Senior White House Correspondent Brian Bennett, from which the story accompanying this cover was derived, which at one point touched on Trump’s “summit” with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un at which he made multiple concessions to the leader without getting anything in return.
Perhaps the memory of that lopsided “victory” for Chairman Kim had Trump in a foul mood, because during his interview, he snapped at the reporter for attempting to take a photo of the note that many have jokingly called a “love letter” from Kim to Trump. According to the transcript of the exchange, Trump did ask to go off the record in order to show off the letter. But Bennett pulled out his camera, which would be ON the record, and later in the interview, you could tell that Trump was seriously upset by it.
During a segment in which they were discussing the testimony of his former aides, staffers, and Cabinet members, TIME brought up the testimony of Corey Lewandowski, his former campaign manager, saying he testified under threat of prison:
TRUMP: Well, you can go to prison instead, because, if you use, if you use the photograph you took of the letter that I gave you confidentially, I didn’t give it to you to take photographs of it — So don’t play that game with me. Let me just tell you something. You take a look…
BENNETT: I’m sorry, Mr. President. Were you threatening me with prison time?
TRUMP: Well, I told you the following. I told you, you can look at this off-the-record. That doesn’t mean you take out your camera and start taking pictures of it. O.K.? So I hope you don’t have a picture of it. I know you were very quick to pull it out — even you were surprised to see that. You can’t do that stuff. So go have fun with your story. Because I’m sure it will be the 28th horrible story I have in TIME Magazine because I never — I mean — ha. It’s incredible. With all I’ve done and the success I’ve had, the way that TIME Magazine writes is absolutely incredible. With all I’ve done, with the tremendous success I’ve had, that TIME Magazine writes about me the way they write is a disgrace, O.K.? Let’s face it, it’s a disgrace. And some day within the next 20 years, maybe you’ll pick me as Man of the Year. O.K., big deal.”
Yes, and maybe if you punch the judge hard enough, they’ll drop all the charges against you in the Southern District of New York, Mr. President.
Featured image via screen capture
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