President-elect Donald Trump, at loggerheads with much of the US traditional press since his election, has been named Time magazine’s Person of the Year.
“It’s a great honor. It means a lot,” Trump told NBC's "Today" show.
"To be on the cover of Time magazine as the person of the year is a tremendous honor," added Trump. In the the past he had predicted he would never win the honor.
Trump hinted at the win several minutes before the announcement was made.
But not surprisingly, he was not happy about the caption on the cover which reads, “President of the Divided States of America.”
He told interviewer Matt Lauer, “I think putting ‘divided’ is snarky, but I didn’t do anything to divide.”
The decision to honor Trump was explained by TIME’s editor Nancy Gibbs on the Today show:
“When have we ever seen a single individual who has so defied expectations, broken the rules, violated norms, beaten not one, but two political parties on the way to winning an election that he entered with 100-1 odds against him? I don’t think that we have ever seen one person operating in such an unconventional way have an impact on the events of the year.”
After the announcement Matt Lauer talked with Trump in an 11-minute phone interview. “It’s a great honor. It’s a very important magazine,” Trump said.
Time Managing Editor Nancy Gibbs wrote that love him or hate him, everyone has an opinion on Trump.
"For those who believe this is all for the better, Trump's victory represents a long-overdue rebuke to an entrenched and arrogant governing class,” she said.
"For those who see it for the worse, the destruction extends to cherished norms of civility and discourse, a politics poisoned by vile streams of racism, sexism, nativism.”
Trump said the "interesting thing" about him is his connection with everyday voters despite his vast wealth.
"What amazes a lot of people is that I'm sitting in an apartment the likes of which nobody's ever seen. And yet I represent the workers of the world,” he said in his New York City penthouse.
"I'm representing them, and they love me, and I love them.”
The magazine annually singles out one person or group of people that “for better or for worse ... has done the most to influence the events of the year.”
President Obama was named Person of the Year in both 2008 and 2012 after winning elections, as was President George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004.
Since Franklin Roosevelt in 1932, every president has been named Time’s Person of the Year at least once — though not necessarily the same year as their election win, said the Hill magazine.
In addition to presidents, global leaders like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Pope Francis, Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have been recent winners.
Time has also drawn attention by giving the honor to groups or even abstract concepts, including Ebola fighters in 2014, the protester in 2011 and “You” in 2006.
"Hillary Clinton" was second on Time's 2016 list, while "The Hackers" came in third.