Donald Trump was named Time’s Person of the Year Wednesday morning.
Speaking on NBC’s “Today” show, editor Nancy Gibbs said the decision was much easier than previous years. She said there was agreement that Trump had the greatest influence on events of 2016, but there wasn’t agreement on whether that influence was for better or worse.
“The challenge for Donald Trump is how profoundly the country disagrees about the answer,” she wrote in the intro to Trump’s profile in the magazine.
In a phone interview with “Today” after the announcement, Trump said it was “a great honor.”
“It means a lot,” he said. But he rejected the characterization that he is the “president of the divided states of America,” which was put on the magazine’s cover.
“I didn’t divide them, they’re divided now,” he said in the phone interview. “We’re going to put it back together”
“I think putting ‘divided’ is snarky,” he added later in the interview.
Time makes its annual choice based on the impact a person has on world events, for better or for worse. Last year the magazine chose German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Trump was the runner-up last year, and following the decision, Trump tweeted, “I told you @TIME Magazine would never pick me as person of the year despite being the big favorite. They picked person who is ruining Germany.”
Hillary Clinton is the runner-up this year, and in third place are “The Hackers.”
On Tuesday, Clinton was leading the “Today” poll on who viewers thought should be named the person of the year.
Time’s shortlist also includes Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the CRISPR pioneers and Beyoncé.