Mere weeks before taking office as the 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump has been named TIME’s Person of the Year.
TIME’s Michael Scherer profiled the president-elect for the issue, and provided insight into the selection of one of the nation’s most polarizing populist figures in its history.
“In a country that seemed to be bending toward its demographic future,” wrote Scherer, “with many straining to finally step outside the darker cycles of history, he proved that tribal instincts never die, that in times of economic strife and breakneck social change, a charismatic leader could still find the enemy within and rally the masses to his side.”
Speaking to TIME, Trump — who won the electoral vote but to date has lost the popular vote to his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton by 2.7 million votes — acknowledged his appeal to American voters is unconventional.
“What amazes a lot of people is that I’m sitting in an apartment the likes of which nobody’s ever seen,” Trump said. “And yet I represent the workers of the world.”
“I’m representing them, and they love me and I love them,” Trump continued, alluding to Rust Belt voters in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania who made his presidency possible. “And here we sit, in very different circumstances.”
Last year, Trump was not selected as TIME’s Person of the Year, as the honor went to Germany’s Angela Merkel. He expressed his dismay at being passed over on Twitter, writing, “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.”
For more from Trump’s interview, head over to TIME.com or pick up the new issue.