The Time magazine’s cover for its July 30 edition has a morphed composite picture of United States President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. Coming on the heels of bipartisan criticism of Trump’s statements after the two met in Helsinki on Monday, users on Twitter have described the magazine cover as “outright creepy” and “petrifying”.
The photo illustration, by visual artist Nancy Burson, “is meant to represent this particular moment in US foreign policy, following the pair’s recent meeting in Helsinki, Finland,” the magazine said in a statement. The cover story noted Trump’s “puzzling affinity” for Putin, which “has yet to be explained”.
Along with the morphed picture on the cover, the magazine also released a video illustration that shows Trump’s face changing into Putin’s, and then back. “Trump wanted a summit with Putin,” a tweet by Time magazine said. “He got way more than he bargained for.”
After Trump’s meeting in Helsinki on Monday, the US president had declared that he believed Putin’s claims that Russia had not interfered in the US presidential election. The remarks puts him at odds with US intelligence over claims of Russian interference in 2016 election. But a day later, Trump said he misspoke during the summit. The White House on Wednesday denied that President Trump said Russia was no longer a threat to the United States.
Trump’s comments in support of arch-rival Russia were condemned by both Democrats and Republicans.