President-elect Donald Trump is Time's Person of the Year

Matt Vella, TIME Executive Editor, discusses the selection process.

- Time magazine on Wednesday named President-elect Donald Trump its Person of the Year for 2016.

"It's a great honor. It means a lot," Trump said in a telephone interview on NBC's "Today" show.

"It's not an honor. It's not an award. The criteria for the last 90 years has been the same. It's the person who for good or for ill most influenced the world in headlines for that year. This year the choice was pretty clear: Donald Trump dominated the news," said Matt Vella, TIME Executive Editor.

In the cover image, Trump is sitting in a somewhat tattered chair taken inside his residence at Trump Tower New York.

"It was a chair that was in the Trump residence. It has been with him for a long time. It was only fitting to see him in his environment," said Vella.

The Time cover reads, "Donald Trump: President of the Divided States of America."

In the NBC interview, Trump took issue with the "Divided States of America" description: "I didn't divide 'em," he said. "We're going to put it back together and we're going to have a country that's very well-healed."

"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-to-1 odds against him?" said Nancy Gibbs, TIME Editor.

"I didn't get Beyonce, Jay Z and Bruce Springsteen to get crowds. I had just me and ideas that people wanted to hear," Trump told TIME during the photo shoot for the cover.

Trump was not notified until "the last minute" of his selection.

Democrat Hillary Clinton was the No. 2 finalist. 

The real estate mogul went from fiery underdog in the race for the GOP presidential nomination to defeating Clinton in the Nov. 8 election. Trump won 306 electoral votes, easily enough to make him president when the electors meet on Dec. 19. Clinton won the popular vote.

Gibbs said Clinton "came closer than any woman ever has to winning the White House, and in the process revealed, I think, both the opportunities and the obstacles that women face in the public square."

The No.3 finalized for the Person of the Year was "The Hackers," which Gibbs said referred to "a new cyber security threat we saw this year of state-sponsored hackers looking to delegitimize an American election." She said this was "something new this year and something very disturbing."

With the Associated Press 


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