What We Learned From Donald Trump's Person of the Year Interview

The magazine's headline is "President of the Divided States of America."

ByABC News
December 7, 2016, 8:30 AM

— -- President-elect Donald Trump said today it was "a tremendous honor" to have been chosen as Time magazine's person of the year.

"It's a great honor. It means a lot, especially me growing up reading Time magazine," Trump said this morning on the "Today" show. "But to be on the cover of Time magazine as the person of the year is a tremendous honor."

The cover of the magazine features Trump with the line "President of the Divided States of America." He called the cover line "snarky," though he agreed the country is divided.

"I'm not president yet, so I didn't do anything to divide," he said. "I mean, there's a lot of division. And we're going to put it back together, and we're going to have a country that's very well healed, and we're going to be a great economic force and we're going to build up our military and safety, and we're going to do a lot of great things."

Hillary Clinton earned the No. 2 spot on Time's person of the year list, and hackers came in third.

Trump sat down with Time for an interview, in which he touched on current events and his plans for the country. Here are five big takeaways from that interview.

Trump Says He Doesn't Believe Russia Attempted to Influence the Election

While Trump is now privy to the same classified and raw intelligence available to President Barack Obama, he still does not agree with the assessment by 17 intelligence agencies that Russia attempted to influence the U.S. presidential election via hacking.

"I don't believe they interfered," he told Time. "That became a laughing point, not a talking point. A laughing point."

Trump goes on to say the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the emails of John Podesta, Clinton's former campaign manager, "could be Russia. And it could be China. And it could be some guy in his home in New Jersey."

House Democrats have made a concerted effort in the past several weeks to pressure the Obama administration to declassify evidence that points to Russian attempts to meddle in the election.

Trump Heaps Praise on President Obama

It wasn't until mid-September that Trump first acknowledged that Obama was a natural-born citizen and thus eligible to be president.

Since their meeting in the Oval Office last month, Trump has heaped praise on the sitting president in multiple interviews, noting they have talked a number of times over the phone.

"You know, he's very committed," Trump said. "And you hear all different — I will tell you, I really liked him. I think he liked me. I think he was surprised also."

Trump went as far as saying Obama had some influence on picks for his incoming Cabinet.

"I wanted to get his opinion," Trump said. "And he gave me some opinions on some people that were very interesting to me and that meant something to me. I believe in asking people."

'We're Going to Work Something Out' With Undocumented Children, Trump Says

Trump in his interview doubled down on his pledge to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border but appeared to adopt a softer tone with regard to some young undocumented immigrants already living in the country.

"I want DREAMers for our children also. We're going to work something out," he said. "On a humanitarian basis, it's a very tough situation."

Trump is referring to the nearly 750,000 undocumented immigrants whom Obama declared through executive action in 2012 were exempt from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

During the campaign Trump vowed to roll back all of Obama's executive actions on immigration.

Trump Vows to Bring Down Drug Prices

As the GOP and Trump work to formulate their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, he told Time that consumers of prescription drugs will be paying less in the coming years.

"I'm going to bring down drug prices," he said. "I don't like what's happened with drug prices."

Trump Wants His Presidency to Be Judged Starting With His Election

While most analysts look at a president's first 100 days as the earliest metric for judging a presidency, Trump told the magazine he wants Americans to start measuring him up now.

"I hope I'm judged from the time of the election, as opposed to from Jan. 20, because the stock market has had a tremendous bounce," he said. "And people are seeing very good things for business in this country."

He recently touted his deal with Carrier to keep nearly 1,000 jobs in the U.S. as an example of the deals he will hash out after he takes office. He gave the magazine a small preview of how he plans to continue that work after he's inaugurated.

"I want to get a list of companies that have announced they're leaving," Trump said. "I can call them myself five minutes apiece, they won't be leaving."

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