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 MurphyWhy the Democrats' impeachment drive is in trouble — and what Nancy Pelosi needs to do about it The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - A crucial week on impeachment Senate braces for brawl on Trump impeachment rules 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 PompeoHillicon Valley: Amazon alleges Trump interfered in Pentagon contract to hurt Bezos | Federal council warns Trump of cyber threats to infrastructure | China to remove foreign technology from government offices Trump, Russian foreign minister to meet Tuesday Impeachment, Ukraine, Syria and warheads color Washington visit by top Russian diplomat MORE, who initially served as CIA director; Agriculture Secretary Sonny PerdueGeorge (Sonny) Ervin PerduePlan to lift roadless rule in Alaska's Tongass national forest threatens economy House Democrat asks USDA to halt payouts to Brazilian meatpacker under federal probe From state agriculture departments to Congress: Our farmers need the USMCA MORE; Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosFailed charter schools cost federal government almost 5M in nine years: report Pelosi gets standing ovation at Kennedy Center Honors On The Money: Economy adds 266K jobs in strong November | Lawmakers sprint to avoid shutdown | Appropriators to hold crucial talks this weekend | Trump asks Supreme Court to halt Deutsche Bank subpoenas 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 ChaoPelosi gets standing ovation at Kennedy Center Honors Lobbying world Democratic chairman presses Transportation secretary over transparency in Boeing 737 Max probe MORE; Energy Secretary Rick PerryRick PerryNew Energy secretary cancels Paris trip amid mass strikes against Macron proposal Mellman: The 'lane theory' is the wrong lane to be in Overnight Energy: Critics call EPA air guidance 'an industry dream' | New Energy secretary says Trump wants to boost coal | EPA looks to speed approval of disputed industry pollution permits MORE; Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon Carson'Housing First' approach won't solve homelessness crisis Clarence Thomas blasts his Biden-led confirmation hearings: 'The idea was to get rid of me' Affordable housing crisis demands urgent, sustained action MORE and Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossPelosi gets standing ovation at Kennedy Center Honors Space race is on: US can't afford congressional inaction in this critical economic sector Trump escalates fight over tax on tech giants 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.