President Donald Trump and some of his closest allies, from EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to Fox News host Sean Hannity, headlined TIME magazine’s 2018 list of the world's most influential people — as did several of the president’s biggest political detractors.
The yearly listing, which chronicles the world’s “most influential pioneers, leaders, titans, artists and icons” debuted Thursday morning, naming various world leaders with whom the president has become cozy — French President Emmanuel Macron, Chinese President Xi Jinping and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
Among those selected were also members of the president’s administration and some of his most vocal public defenders. The list included the embattled EPA administrator, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Hannity, whose ties to Trump-connected lawyers have drawn scrutiny in recent days.
But the magazine also featured various figures who have sharply criticized the president or stand poised to inflict political damage against him. Among them are House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, San Juan, Puerto Rico Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, London Mayor Sadiq Khan, comedians Trevor Noah and Jimmy Kimmel, and special counsel Robert Mueller, who continues to probe ties between Trump’s campaign and Russian officials in 2016.
In an entry authored by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), once a critic of Trump as a candidate, the lawmaker describes the president as “a flash-bang grenade thrown into Washington by the forgotten men and women of America.” Cruz writes that “President Trump is doing what he was elected to do: disrupt the status quo,” adding that the confusion he creates in Washington is “great fun to watch.”
Other entries, though, appeared to indirectly take aim at the president.
In a piece on the special counsel, former U.S. attorney Preet Bharara notes that "Robert S. Mueller III doesn’t seek deferments," an oblique reference to Trump's multiple draft deferments that kept him out of the Vietnam War. Bharara was fired from the Trump administration last March.
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg writes that Khan, the British official who has called out Trump’s leadership and rhetoric on immigration, “rightfully denounced” the U.S. president when he retweeted anti-Muslims videos from a far-right political group.
In the entry on Carmen Yulín Cruz, a harsh critic of the Trump administration’s response to natural disasters in Puerto Rico, the San Juan mayor is described as the “voice of the disenfranchised citizens” who could not vote in the 2016 presidential election.
Others named to the list had their influence directly linked to their proximity to the president.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich writes in his piece on Hannity that one of the host’s “biggest fans is President Donald Trump, who routinely watches the TV show and talks with Sean as a fellow New Yorker.” Gingrich adds that “Hannity played a major role in helping Trump get the [Republican presidential] nomination and win the general election” through his prominent perch at Fox News.
Hannity became the subject of scrutiny this week after he was named in court as a client of Michael Cohen, an attorney who is the president’s longtime associate.
Several of the student survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting in Parkland, Florida were also selected by the magazine due to their advocacy for increased gun-control measures.
Former President Barack Obama lauded the students for urging U.S. leaders to step up their efforts to combat gun violence in a piece for TIME, writing that “our children are calling us to account” on the issue.
“The Parkland, Fla., students don’t have the kind of lobbyists or big budgets for attack ads that their opponents do. Most of them can’t even vote yet,” Obama writes. “But they have the power so often inherent in youth: to see the world anew; to reject the old constraints, outdated conventions and cowardice too often dressed up as wisdom. The power to insist that America can be better.”
The students — Cameron Kasky, Jaclyn Corin, David Hogg, Emma Gonzalez and Alex Wind — have risen to prominence as staunch advocates of gun control reform. Several have been deeply critical of the current president’s response to the shooting, which left 17 people dead and numerous others injured.