Time magazine has named President-elect Donald Trump its Person of the Year for his shocking upset election victory that rewrote the rules of politics.

"When have we ever seen a single individual who has so defied expectations, broken the rules, violated norms, beaten not one but two political parties on the way to winning an election that he entered with 100-to-1 odds against him?" the magazine's managing editor, Nancy Gibbs, said on Wednesday on NBC's Today Show.

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In a phone interview on the programme, Trump welcomed the move as "a very, very great honour". "It means a lot," he added.

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Gibbs said Trump's Democrat rival in the election, Hillary Clinton, was the No 2 finalist and noted the choice of Trump this year was "straightforward".

"The Hackers," ranked after Clinton. Gibbs said that referred to "a new cyber security threat we saw this year of state-sponsored hackers looking to delegitimize an American election." She said this was "something new this year and something very disturbing."

Among the other finalists who he beat were German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Time cover reads, "Donald Trump: President of the Divided States of America", and the cover image features a photograph of the president-elect sitting in his private residence at Trump Tower.

Trump went from fiery underdog in the race for the Republican presidential nomination to defeating Clinton in the November 8 election. He won 306 electoral votes, easily enough to make him president. Clinton won the popular vote.

Gibbs said Clinton "came closer than any woman ever has to winning the White House, and in the process revealed, I think, both the opportunities and the obstacles that women face in the public square".

The magazine said its Person of the Year, an annual tradition that dates back 90 years, "had the greatest influence, for better or worse, on the events of the year".

"So which is it this year: better or worse?" Gibbs wrote.

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Al Jazeera's Kimberly Halkett, reporting from Washington DC, said "for better or for worse, those who see him as a positive influence see the election as a long overdue rebuke of a very arrogant governing class.

"Having said that, there is also a very strong feeling acknowledged by the magazine that Trump has violated the norms of civility and discourse ... I don't think the country will be the same after this."

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Source: Agencies