Administration

Trump says Linda McMahon will step down as Small Business administrator

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President Trump announced Friday that Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon will leave her position next month as she transitions to a role with a political group supporting his reelection campaign.
 
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.”{mosads}
 
“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 Murphy (D-Conn.).
 
McMahon was one of the original Cabinet members from the start of the Trump administration. Others include Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who initially served as CIA director; Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue; Education Secretary Betsy DeVos; Labor Secretary Alex Acosta; Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao; Energy Secretary Rick Perry; Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
 
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.

Tags Alex Acosta Ben Carson Betsy DeVos Chris Murphy Donald Trump Elaine Chao Linda McMahon Mike Pompeo Rick Perry Small Business Administration Sonny Perdue Trump Cabinet Trump reelection Wilbur Ross
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