Donald Trump on the cover of Time Magazine: From election to Vladimir Putin

The latest sees the US president’s face melded with that of the Russian leader.


(Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)
(Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

Reportedly Donald Trump once hung a fake Time Magazine cover with his face on it in several of his golf clubs, but in December 2016 the newly-elected president achieved his apparent dream and made the front page as their Person of the Year.

However, since then Donald Trump has become a far more regular frequenter of the magazine’s cover than perhaps he ever once hoped – but not in a manner meant to endear him to the reader.

The latest such example is a homage to Trump’s controversial summit with Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Helsinki

By melding the faces of the pair together, Time is commenting on the manner in which the US president disagreed with his intelligence officials’ conclusions regarding Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump has since denied the comments, saying he merely misspoke, but critics have accused him of siding with Putin – something that was similarly satirised by German magazine Der Spiegel in 2017.

The Time cover is the latest in a series from the magazine to target the US president in recent times though.

A year before he even won the presidency, in 2015, Trump was on Time’s front page – himself taking to Twitter to announce the pride he felt in being there.

He returned to the front page five months later, after winning the Republican nomination for the election, with Time calling it “The Art of the Steal” – in reference to his notorious book The Art of the Deal.

The next depicted Trump’s poll-defying victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton, announced in November 2016.

Trump’s January 2017 inauguration also earned a cover.

It was at this point that the tack of Time’s covers changed, within a matter of three weeks depicting him again in stormy conditions and “White House chaos”.

This cover would be echoed a year later, amid the revelations surrounding Trump’s alleged affair with pornographic film actor Stephanie Clifford, stage name Stormy Daniels.

Back in March 2017 Trump appeared leaning against Washington DC’s Lincoln Memorial and declaring his “war on Washington”.

Two months later he appeared, this time turned away from camera, after the dramatic firing of FBI director James Comey.

After a summer of covers that also included appearances of one of Trump’s hotels and even his son Donald Junior, he reappeared as a training dummy – in reference to the kneeling demonstrations from American Football players started by Colin Kaepernick, and accompanied by the tagline “why he always bounces back”.

A similarly cartoonish Trump reappeared in October of that year, this time his distinctive light hair and amber skin painted on wrecking balls “dismantling government as we know it”.

Then Time offered their review of his “tumultuous” first year in office.

Other covers referencing Trump followed, including the title “Make America Nuclear Again” with a mushroom cloud amongst others.

His image didn’t reappear however until the revelations surrounding Stormy Daniels, then in June 2018 he was depicted before a mirror – with his reflection a vision of him as a king and the tagline “visions of absolute power”.

Next came Trump’s historic talks with Kim Jong-Un, something Time described as “The Riskiest Show on Earth” and “impulse diplomacy”.

Finally, the penultimate cover before Trump’s features melded with Putin this month, a reference the small children separated from their families as a result of America’s zero-tolerance immigration policy.

With Trump’s tenure just past 18 months, expect many more Time covers to come.

Press Association

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