WASHINGTON –– US President Donald Trump is one of the most famous men in the world right now.
But there’s one place his much-photographed face hasn’t been: the cover of Time magazine’s March 1, 2009 edition.
Why do people care? Because a copy emblazoned with Trump’s image has reportedly been hanging in five of his golf clubs.
And according to Time, it’s fake news.
The cover shows the president wearing a black suit and a stern expression, his arms crossed.
“Trump is hitting on all fronts . . . even TV!” reads one cover line.
Two of the smaller headlines –– which promise stories on President Barack Obama, climate change, and the financial crisis –– were taken from the genuine March 2, 2009 edition of Time, whose cover star was Oscar-winner Kate Winslet.
Time has confirmed to the BBC that the cover is a copy. In fact, there was no March 1, 2009 issue of Time, and Trump did not feature on the magazine’s cover that year.
A spokesperson said the magazine had asked the Trump Organization to remove the fake cover.
The Washington Post, which first reported the story, said the mock-up had been displayed in two spots at the billionaire’s resort in Doral, outside Miami.
It also hung in the members’ dining room at the Trump golf course in Loudoun County, Virginia.
Photographer Scott Keeler tweeted a picture showing it on the wall of the Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida.
Elsewhere, it has been spotted at Trump’s golf club in Doonbeg, Ireland, and at the Turnberry club in Scotland –– where staff said it was removed a few weeks ago.
The Post said the Trump Organization had not responded to questions about who made it, or why it was there, but that March 1, 2009 marked the season debut of Trump’s television show, The Celebrity Apprentice.
“We couldn’t comment on the decor at Trump golf clubs one way or another,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee told the paper.
The president has, of course, appeared on countless real magazine covers – both before and after taking office.
Beyond the likes of Fortune and Newsweek, he is one of the few men to have graced the front of Playboy –– in March 1990.
But Trump’s past comments suggest he considers the cover of Time especially covetable.
In a January speech at the CIA’s headquarters, he bragged about having more covers than anyone else, saying: “I think we have the all-time record in the history of Time magazine.”
The former mogul was mistaken. In 2014, Time noted that an earlier US president had appeared a whopping 55 times.
Trump was informed of the error in March 2017.
“I think Richard Nixon still has you beat. But he was in office for longer, so give yourself time,” a Time interviewer observed.
“OK good. I’m sure I’ll win,” the president replied.