Trump says Linda McMahon will step down as Small Business administrator

 
Trump made the announcement during a press availability from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla. The lavish setting and Trump's effusive praise for McMahon underscored the nature of their close relationship, and suggested her departure comes on good terms.
 
“We’ll be making the new nomination and appointment in the very short distance," Trump said as he and McMahon sat on a couch at the property. "And that will be in consultation with Linda, but I just have to say that this is an outstanding woman who’s done an outstanding job.”
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"The fact is that I've known her for a longtime," he said. "I knew she was good, but I didn’t know she was that good. She’s been one of our all-time favorites."
 
McMahon, 70, the former co-founder of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), said in an emailed statement to The Hill that she would resign from her role effective April 12.
 
"While it has truly been the honor of a lifetime to serve our country in this Administration, it is time for me to step down and return to the private sector," she said in the statement.

“I’m very proud of the work this agency has done to improve the way we connect small businesses to capital, counseling and government contracts. The focus that we have put on supporting women entrepreneurship, veteran businesses and rural development has been particularly rewarding for me," she added.
 
Trump, who has announced past Cabinet changes in abrupt fashion via Twitter, called a press conference to speak about McMahon's future. He praised the former pro-wrestling executive for her "incredible" work, referring to her as a "superstar."
 
She joined the Trump administration from the outset in early 2017 and for two years oversaw efforts to spur small business growth. She is just one of five women in Trump's Cabinet.
 
She will now serve on the board at America First, a pro-Trump super PAC supporting the president's 2020 reelection bid.
 
“POTUS loves Linda, and [America First President] Brian Walsh and Linda have known each other for years. She'll be an outstanding addition to the team,” a source with direct knowledge of the situation told The Hill prior to Trump's announcement.
 
Trump and McMahon knew each other previously from her time as CEO of WWE. McMahon helped found the company with her husband, Vince McMahon, and Trump has appeared at WWE events and was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 2013.
 
McMahon launched a political career in 2010 when she ran an unsuccessful Senate campaign against Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). She again ran for Senate in 2012, but lost to Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyConnecticut radio station rebrands itself 'Trump 103.3' Foreign Relations senators demand Iran briefing Prosecutor appointed by Barr poised to enter Washington firestorm MORE (D-Conn.).
 
McMahon was one of the original Cabinet members from the start of the Trump administration. Others include Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTrump: 'I will not let Iran have nuclear weapons' Rocket attack hits Baghdad's Green Zone amid escalating tensions: reports Dems ask former CIA chief John Brennan for Iran briefing: report MORE, who initially served as CIA director; Agriculture Secretary Sonny PerdueGeorge (Sonny) Ervin PerdueOn The Money: GOP angst grows over Trump's trade war | Trump promises help for 'Patriot Farmers' | Markets rebound | CBO founding director Alice Rivlin dies | Senate to vote on disaster aid bill next week GOP angst grows amid Trump trade war California jury links weedkiller Roundup to cancer, awards couple billion MORE; Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosConsumer bureau head says Education Department blocking oversight of student loans Dem lawmaker: Betsy DeVos is 'a nice person, but boy she really is confused' Trump touts budget updates to fund Special Olympics, send astronauts to Mars MORE; Labor Secretary Alex AcostaRene (Alex) Alexander AcostaTop aide to Labor secretary to leave amid friction with White House George Conway slams Trump for calling Biden 'creepy': You 'palled around with Jeffrey Epstein' Melania Trump expands mission of 'Be Best' on its one-year anniversary MORE; Transportation Secretary Elaine ChaoElaine Lan ChaoTrump administration cancels 9M for high-speed rail in California US halts flights to Venezuela Melania Trump expands mission of 'Be Best' on its one-year anniversary MORE; Energy Secretary Rick PerryJames (Rick) Richard PerryHouse Dems propose billions in extra funding for environmental programs that Trump sought to cut Overnight Energy: States fight Trump rollback of Obama lightbulb rules | Greens seek hearing over proposed rule on energy efficiency tests | Top Dem asks GAO to investigate climate threat States fight Trump rollback of Obama lightbulb rules MORE; Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonHUD chief Carson broke law with unauthorized purchases, GAO says Trump immigration rule could displace 55K children from public housing: HUD Harris, House Dems push for mandatory carbon monoxide detectors in public housing MORE and Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossHillicon Valley: Trump takes flak for not joining anti-extremism pact | Phone carriers largely end sharing of location data | Huawei pushes back on ban | Florida lawmakers demand to learn counties hacked by Russians | Feds bust 0M cybercrime group Huawei says inclusion on US trade blacklist is in 'no one's interest' Hillicon Valley: Trump signs order to protect US networks from Chinese tech | Huawei downplays order | Trump declines to join effort against online extremism | Facebook restricts livestreaming | FCC proposes new tool against robocalls MORE.
 
It's unclear who Trump will nominate as McMahon's replacement. The position requires Senate confirmation.

Trump indicated on Friday that he had a choice in mind, but offered few hints as to who it might be. 

"Somebody that’s really good," he said. "Somebody that we know very well, and somebody that will fit in beautifully." 

Rachel Frazin contributed to this report

– Updated: 5:27 p.m.