A framed copy of Time magazine was hung up in at least five of President Trump’s clubs, from South Florida to Scotland. Filling the entire cover was a photo of Donald Trump.
This cover — dated March 1, 2009 — looks like an impressive memento from Trump’s pre-presidential career. To club members eating lunch, or golfers waiting for a pro-shop purchase, it seemed to be a signal that Trump had always been a man who mattered. Even when he was just a reality TV star, Trump was the kind of star who got a cover story in Time.
The Time cover is a fake.
There was no March 1, 2009, issue of Time magazine. And there was no issue at all in 2009 that had Trump on the cover.
“I can confirm that this is not a real TIME cover,” Kerri Chyka, a spokeswoman for Time Inc., wrote in an email to The Washington Post.
At 5 p.m. Tuesday, a spokeswoman for Time said that the magazine had asked the Trump Organization to remove the phony cover from the walls where it was on display.
One thing that is clear, from the president’s past statements, is that he views the cover of Time as a significant honor.
Trump has bragged that he’s been on more Time covers than anyone. “I think we have the all-time record in the history of Time magazine,” he said during a January speech at CIA headquarters.
That is wrong. Richard Nixon has appeared on far more than Trump.
So how did Trump — who spent an entire campaign and much of his presidency accusing the mainstream media of producing “fake news” — wind up decorating his properties with a literal piece of phony journalism?
The Trump Organization did not respond to questions this week about who made the cover and why it was displayed at Trump clubs. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to say whether Trump had known that the cover wasn’t real.