The incident happened Monday, June 17, when a group of Time staffers visited the Oval Office for a story about Trump’s re-election campaign, according to a transcript posted online this week by the magazine.
During the interview, Trump asked to go off the record several times, including when he showed the group a letter he said North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sent him.
According to the interview transcript, a photographer apparently tried to snap a picture of the document, angering Trump.
“Excuse me — Under Section II — 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…” he said.
One of the reporters cut Trump off to ask a question, but he quickly turned his attention back to the photographer.
“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,” Trump said.
The photographer then apologized.
“I’m sorry, Mr. President. Were you threatening me with prison time?” the photog asked.
Trump chastised the journalist.
“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,” he said.
The president wasn’t done, and criticized Time for its coverage of him. He said the first cover story the magazine ran after he won the 2016 election “was great.” But each article since then has been “horrible.”
“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,” he said. “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.”