Donald Trump named TIME Person of the Year
US President-elect Donald Trump has been named TIME Person of the Year.
The billionaire reality TV star-turned-politician is set to take office in January, after a shock electoral college victory over Hillary Clinton – though Mr Trump lost the public vote by more than 2.5 million votes.
TIME Magazine nearly always gives the honour to newly-elected US Presidents. Gerald Ford is the most recent US President not to win.
TIME Editor-in-Chief Nancy Gibbs explained: “This is the 90th time we have named the person who had the greatest influence, for better or worse, on the events of the year. So which is it this year: better or worse?
“The challenge for Donald Trump is how profoundly the country disagrees about the answer…. 2016 was the year of his rise; 2017 will be the year of his rule, and like all newly elected leaders, he has a chance to fulfill promises and defy expectations.
“For reminding America that demagoguery feeds on despair and that truth is only as powerful as the trust in those who speak it, for empowering a hidden electorate by mainstreaming its furies and live-streaming its fears, and for framing tomorrow’s political culture by demolishing yesterday’s, Donald Trump is TIME’s 2016 Person of the Year.”
In an interview with TIME, Trump sought to downplay allegations that Russia was involved in hacking Democratic organisations in order to influence the election. A string of leaks of illegally-obtained data crippled the campaign of Hillary Clinton.
Trump said: “I don’t believe they interfered. That became a laughing point, not a talking point, a laughing point. Any time I do something, they say ‘oh, Russia interfered.’
“Why not get along with Russia? And they can help us fight ISIS, which is both costly in lives and costly in money. And they’re effective and smart.
“It could be Russia. And it could be China. And it could be some guy in his home in New Jersey.
“I believe that it could have been Russia and it could have been any one of many other people. Sources or even individuals.”