President-elect Donald Trump took a victory lap on Wednesday after receiving an award that he has coveted for at least a year: Time magazine’s Person of the Year.
“To be on the cover of Time as Person of the Year is a tremendous honor,” he said Wednesday morning during an interview on NBC’s “Today” show, which revealed the winner.
However, he did quibble with the magazine proclaiming him “president of the divided states of America” on its cover. “I think putting ‘divided’ is snarky,” Trump said, asserting: “I didn’t do anything to divide.”
Trump had a much different reaction in 2015, when he was a finalist for Person of the Year but didn’t make the cut. Time ultimately selected German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“I think they absolutely picked the wrong person,” Trump said at the time. “I think they picked the person that’s really done tremendous damage to Germany,” he continued, speaking on Fox News.
“And Germany’s got a lot of problems right now, including crime that it never had. And I think you’re going to see a total disaster.”
At the time, he also touted the fact that Fox host Bill O’Reilly said he should have been named Person of the Year. “He said I should have been chosen,” Trump said. “I said, ‘I’ll never be chosen because I’m not a part of the Time establishment.’ … They picked somebody that I thought was inappropriate.”
In 2012, he also criticized Time for not being named in the Top 100:
I knew last year that @TIME Magazine lost all credibility when they didn't include me in their Top 100…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 26, 2012
Trump also complained about the magazine’s 2013 list:
The Time Magazine list of the 100 Most Influential People is a joke and stunt of a magazine that will, like Newsweek,soon be dead. Bad list!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 27, 2013