Only ‘Probably’ Time’s Person of the Year? No Thanks, Trump Tweets

Yet he appeared to aspire to be on the magazine’s cover, with a fake 2009 cover story once hanging near the entrance of Mar-a-Lago, the Florida estate where he is spending his vacation, and in many of his other golf clubs, according to a Washington Post article in June. (A White House spokeswoman declined at the time to say whether Mr. Trump had known that the cover wasn’t real.)

At the time of Mr. Trump’s tweet on Friday, an online readers poll on whom the magazine should select showed Mr. Trump in a three-way tie for second and trailing Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, who had 21 percent of the vote. The recipient of the title, who is ultimately decided by Time’s editors, will be announced on Dec. 6.

A spokeswoman for the magazine directed reporters back to Twitter. “The President is incorrect about how we choose Person of the Year,” a message from the magazine’s account said. “TIME does not comment on our choice until publication, which is December 6.”

In between his bookends of institutional critique, the president fit in a few moments of international productivity on Friday.

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In an early-morning phone call with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, Mr. Trump discussed the sale of American military equipment, the Syrian refugee crisis and “pending adjustments to the military support provided to our partners on the ground in Syria,” according to a summary provided by the White House.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry later said the pending adjustments meant that the United States would no longer provide weapons to the Y.P.G., a Kurdish militia fighting in Syria against the Islamic State — a military plan Mr. Trump had previously approved, according to reports from Turkish news media.

Mr. Trump’s decision to stop supplying the Syrian Kurds could ease tensions with Mr. Erdogan that have been aggravated by a number of issues, chief among them the Trump administration’s reluctance to turn over a Turkish cleric, Fethullah Gulen, who lives in exile in Pennsylvania and whom Mr. Erdogan accuses of fomenting a failed coup against him in 2016. The Turkish government is also angry over the case of an Iranian-Turkish businessman, Reza Zarrab, who is fighting federal charges in the United States that he evaded Iranian sanctions.

The United States began working closely with the Syrian Kurds during the Obama administration and continued under Mr. Trump. Some critics said on Friday that the decision to stop supplying them amounted to a betrayal, since American forces had relied on the Kurds, and their fighting skills, to retake the Syrian town of Raqqa from the Islamic State.


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Mr. Trump also made another phone call to President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt to offer sympathy and support in the aftermath of the brutal militant attack on a Sufi mosque there Friday that killed at least 235 people.

But for the majority of the day, the president indulged in his favorite moments of relaxation: spending hours on his lush golf course in Jupiter, Fla., accompanied by the professional golfers Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson, staying mostly out of sight of the news media and sharing his commentary with his millions of Twitter followers. It appeared to be, as noted by the golfers and visitors who shared pictures of him on social media, a good day.

“Great spirits,” Eric Kaplan, a club member, observed on Twitter. “That is one gracious man.”

Mark Landler contributed reporting from Washington.

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