It’s that time again: the time of year when Time Magazine names their Person of the Year. In the past week, there has been a lot of speculation as to who would win the title. Last year, German Prime Minister Angela Merkel won the honor; in this year’s online poll, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was leading. Ultimately, though, the magazine ignored the poll and named Donald Trump their Person of the Year, with Hillary Clinton once again coming in second place.
In addition to beating out Hillary — again — Trump also beat out finalists like “hackers”, Vladimir Putin, and Beyonce. “To be on the cover of Time as Person of the Year is a tremendous honor,” Trump said of his win. Time editor-in-chief Nancy Gibbs said it was the easiest decision the magazine had ever made.
In his interview for the cover story, Trump spoke in depth on a variety of topics. He compared himself to New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. “I don’t think there’s one way of leading people. I think if you talk – and I mention him because he was so great to me – but if you mention, like, a great leader is a Coach Belichick. I guarantee you he deals with different people in a different way,” he explained. “He’ll deal with Tom Brady differently than he’s going to deal with some rookie that just came in, and they don’t know whether or not he’s going to make it. It’s a different form of leadership.” Belichick is a strong supporter of Trump’s.
He also talked about illegal immigrants, saying, “They’re killing and raping everybody out there. They’re illegal. And they are finished.” It’s for this reason that he says we need to build a wall. “We’re going to build the wall. I’m going to build the wall. We’re going to have strong borders. But we’re also going to have people coming across the borders because we need workers,” he said. “We have to be able to have people come in to our country, because that’s good for all of us. It’s good for them, but it’s good for all of us. But we’re going to have very strong borders. We’re not going to have illegals coming in. But we’re going to have people coming in, but we’re also going to have them coming in based to a certain extent on merit.” Still, he showed that he wasn’t heartless, especially for the young illegal immigrants who were brought here by their parents, often called “Dreamers”. “On a humanitarian basis it’s a very tough situation,” he admitted. “We’re going to work something out that’s going to make people happy and proud. But that’s a very tough situation.”
On the topic of Russia, he said that he didn’t believe they interfered with the election, or was behind the DNC hack. He also doubled down on his claim that voter fraud was an issue with the election. “I’ve seen many, many complaints. Tremendous numbers of complaints,” he insisted.
What will a successful Trump presidency look like? “I think we’re going to have a lot of jobs brought back. I think we’re going to have a lot fewer companies leaving our country,” he said. “I believe we will be successful with defeating ISIS or bringing them down to a level where it’s almost the same thing. And I hope I’m judged from the time of the election, as opposed to from January 20th, because the stock market has had a tremendous bounce. And people are seeing very good things for business in this country. So I think we’re going to have a lot of victories.”
One of the criticisms lobbed at Trump throughout the campaign was his slogan of “Make America Great Again”, with people asking if this meant he thought America wasn’t great now. And he responded to that criticism by giving his honest opinion about this country and what it means to him. “Most incredible place ever. And we were losing that. And I don’t want to lose that. And the people that voted for me, we call them the forgotten men and women,” he said. “These are great people, these are people that built this country, and they’ve been forgotten. They’re people that work hard, that they’re people that love the country. And they didn’t like what was happening.”
Trump also responded to people who pointed out that he can’t identify with working class Americans as a wealthy one-percenter. “I’m sitting in an apartment the likes of which nobody’s ever seen. And yet I represent the workers of the world. And they love me and I love them,’ he said. “But when I was in Brooklyn I worked for my father on construction sites where he built houses or what he built, a building in Brooklyn. And I got to understand the construction workers and the police. These are great people. These are the people that built the country.”
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