Linda McMahon, a former professional wrestling executive and leading donor to President Donald Trump’s campaign and former charity, resigned as administrator of the Small Business Administration, a senior administration official confirmed Friday.
At a news conference Friday at his Mar-a-Lago estate, Trump praised McMahon’s tenure leading an agency that facilitates loans and otherwise serves as an advocate for the nation’s small businesses, calling her an “outstanding woman who has done an outstanding job.”
McMahon, 70, is reportedly now going to run the Trump reelection campaign super PAC, America First.
Her departure was first reported by Politico.
In a statement announcing her resignation, McMahon said, “It has truly been the honor of a lifetime to serve our country in this administration.”
Trump is longtime friends with McMahon and her husband, Vince McMahon, whose company, World Wrestling Entertainment, made a fortune staging pro-wrestling extravaganzas. Trump famously appeared in a 2007 “Battle of the Billionaires” fight at WrestleMania, in which he knocked Vince McMahon to the floor and later shaved McMahon’s head.
Between 2007 and 2009, the McMahons gave $5 million to Trump’s now-defunct charitable foundation. Linda McMahon, a co-founder of WWE, contributed $7.5 million to back Trump’s 2016 White House run.
McMahon, who was confirmed by the Senate as SBA administrator in February 2017, was among Trump’s original Cabinet members. She is one of only five women currently serving in the Trump Cabinet.
McMahon stepped down from her position at WWE in 2009 to run for a U.S. Senate seat in Connecticut. She was defeated in 2010 by Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal She lost another Senate bid in 2012 to Democrat Chris Murphy.
McMahon contributed heavily to an outside group backing Trump’s presidential bid. She also had been a major donor to the Donald J. Trump Foundation. Trump shuttered the charity in December amid allegations that he used it for personal and political benefit.