December 10, 2015 12:01 PM EST

That bald eagle didn’t scare Donald Trump, the candidate says, no matter how much he flinched at his TIME photoshoot.

The Republican presidential candidate phoned into “Fox & Friends” on Thursday morning, Politico reports. as the show opened with the much-memed video of Trump backing away from a feisty eagle named Uncle Sam.

“Were you a little frightened by that bird?” asked co-host Steve Doocy.

“No, not really,” Trump replied.

TIME released a behind-the-scenes gif of Trump’s photoshoot, from the August cover story about the leading GOP contender after Trump was named a Person of the Year finalist. Trump was quick to disagree with TIME’s ultimate choice of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, though he told “Fox & Friends” that knew he would not be chosen since he is “not a part of the TIME establishment.”

“They picked somebody that I thought was inappropriate, but I said I would never be chosen by TIME,” Trump told the show’s hosts. “Even though I was on their cover a few weeks ago.”

 

Write to Julia Zorthian at julia.zorthian@time.com.

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