Donald Trump once valued being on the cover of TIME magazine so much he put a fake version in seven of his golf courses.

Now it may be a case of being careful what you wish for.

The magazine has put the US President on the cover of its latest issue, the second week in a row it has done so, and chances are he isn't going to like it.

The illustration by artist Nancy Burson shows Mr Trump morphing into Russian President Vladimir Putin.

TIME magazine cover shows Donald Trump towering over a crying child. Photo / TIME
TIME magazine cover shows Donald Trump towering over a crying child. Photo / TIME

The magazine said in a statement that the depiction "is meant to represent this particular moment in US foreign policy, following the pair's recent meeting in Helsinki, Finland".

"A year and a half into his presidency, Trump's puzzling affinity for Putin has yet to be explained," Brian Bennett writes in the TIME cover story. "Trump is bruised by the idea that Russian election meddling taints his victory, those close to him say, and can't concede the fact that Russia did try to interfere in the election, regardless of whether it impacted the outcome."

Mr Trump was attacked by both sides of politics and Americans across the board for appearing to side with Mr Putin over his own intelligence agencies with regards to whether Russia interfered in the 2016 US election.

Mr Trump has since done an about-face and said he meant to say he saw no reason why it "wouldn't" be Russia, when he said that he saw no reason why it "would" be Russia.

Last year the Washington Post revealed that a cover of Mr Trump which he had hanging at seven of his golf courses was a fake.

Last week TIME magazine used an image of Mr Trump towering over a crying child with the words "Welcome to America" to depict his administration's policy of separating families crossing the US border.

It came as Mr Trump went on a Twitter rant against what he calls the fake news media, even calling his joint press conference with Mr Putin a "great success".

Mr Trump flagged that he would have a second meeting with Mr Putin but did not give any details about when or where it would happen.