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 MurphyPelosi, Schumer hit 'flailing' Trump over 'sham ceasefire' deal Romney slams ceasefire deal, calls Trump's Syria move 'a bloodstain' in US history Backlash erupts at video depicting Trump killing media, critics 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 touts Turkey cease-fire: 'Sometimes you have to let them fight' Pompeo to meet Netanyahu as US alliances questioned Washington indecision compounded the Kurds' dilemma MORE, who initially served as CIA director; Agriculture Secretary Sonny PerdueGeorge (Sonny) Ervin PerdueFrom state agriculture departments to Congress: Our farmers need the USMCA Overnight Energy: Trump administration issues plan to reverse limits on logging in Tongass National Forest| Democrats inch closer to issuing subpoenas for Interior, EPA records| Trump's plan to boost ethanol miffs corn groups and the fossil fuel industry Trump administration issues plan to reverse limits on logging in Tongass National Forest MORE; Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosWhat the next Education secretary must do Duke-UNC v. DOE: Riding a wave of mutual antagonism Trump administration blocked consumer watchdog from public service loan forgiveness program: report MORE; Labor Secretary Alex AcostaAlex Alexander AcostaThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by National Association of Manufacturers — Whistleblower complaint roils Washington On The Money: Senate confirms Scalia as Labor chief | Bill with B in wall funding advanced over Democrats' objections | Lawyers reach deal to delay enforcement of NY tax return subpoena Sanders calls Eugene Scalia's Labor Dept. confirmation 'obscene' MORE; Transportation Secretary Elaine ChaoElaine Lan ChaoLawmakers toast Greta Van Susteren's new show Democratic lawmaker asks for probe of reports Chao favored Kentucky officials Chao met with more officials from Kentucky than any other state: report MORE; Energy Secretary Rick PerryJames (Rick) Richard PerryTrump confirms Rick Perry to step down as Energy secretary Overnight Energy: Perry to step down as Energy secretary | Future of big-game hunting council up in the air | Dems lose vote against EPA power plant rule Perry notified Trump he will resign: reports MORE; Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonYes, President Trump, we do have a homelessness crisis and you're making it harder for us to address New HUD rule would eliminate housing stability for thousands of students Carson defends transgender comments, hits media for 'mischaracterizations' MORE and Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossCommerce Department to develop stats on income inequality Huawei posts double-digit gain in sales despite US sanctions Democrats inch closer to issuing subpoenas for Interior, EPA records 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.