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2003

Time asks Trump to take down fake magazine covers

You need a scorecard to keep track of the fake news charges being slung lately.

Among the latest: Time magazine has asked The Trump Organization to take down fake magazine covers featuring a pre-presidential Donald Trump.

The newsweekly made the request after The Washington Post reported Tuesday that at least five Trump properties had hanging a Time magazine cover showing Trump.

But the magazine covers, dated March 1, 2009, were fake. The magazine did not publish on that date; its March 2, 2009 issue featured actress Kate Winslet.

The fake cover’s headlines read: "’The Apprentice’ is a television smash!’ and "Trump Is Hitting On All Fronts … Even TV!"

Two of the headlines used — "Obama’s Next Move: Can He Curb Health-Care Costs?" and "How Stressed Is Your Bank? A Checkup" — do appear on the real March 2, 2009 issue.

Photojournalist Scott Keller of The Tampa Bay Times posted a photo of the cover hanging at Mar-A-Lago, the Trump property in Palm Beach, Fla.

The Post found the cover also hanging at Trump National Doral near Miami and at the Trump National Golf Club outside Washington, D.C. The fake magazine cover also had hung, but were no longer on the walls at Trump golf resorts in Ireland and Scotland.

After The Post’s story ran, NJ.com, which includes news from local papers including The Star Ledger of New Jersey, found another copy of the fake March 2009 magazine cover at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. which hosts the U.S. Women’s Open in two weeks.

Time has asked The Trump Organization to remove fake magazine covers. The Trump Organization did not respond to request for comment Wednesday.

Overall, Trump has been on the cover of Time 14 times — for real.

The fake Time cover comes at a time when the issue of fake news seems to be hitting another crescendo.

After three CNN journalists resigned Monday over a story on Russian ties to Trump failed to meet the network’s reporting standards, Trump tweeted on Tuesday CNN is looking at "big management changes now that they got caught falsely pushing their phony Russian stories. Ratings way down! "

To that, CNN tweeted that the network had just posted its most-watched second quarter ever.

Also on Tuesday, a video emerged showing a CNN producer criticizing the network’s aggressive coverage of possible ties between Trump and Russia. On Twitter, Donald Trump Jr., urged people to watch the video. CNN later issued a statement supporting the producer, John Bonifield, who covers the medical beat not politics, saying, "Diversity of personal opinion is what makes CNN strong, we welcome it and embrace it."

On Wednesday, Trump charged that The Post is "FAKE NEWS!" and Amazon — owned by Bezos, as is The Post — is not paying Internet taxes.

Technically, there is no Internet tax. And as of April 1, the online retailer does collect sales tax on Amazon online purchases in the 45 states that collect sales tax. Also, the EU’s European Commission has been investigating Amazon and several other U.S. multinational corporations over unfair tax advantages earned by subsidiaries in Luxembourg.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.