President-elect Donald Trump has selected pro wrestling mogul and longtime friend Linda McMahon to lead the Small Business Administration.
McMahon, who twice mounted unsuccessful campaigns for the U.S. Senate in 2010 and 2012, has long been floated as a potential Cabinet nominee due to her longstanding ties to the Republican Party and to Trump personally.
The President-elect has had multiple notable appearances at WWE pro wrestling events, including ones where he engages in physical combat with McMahon’s husband, Vince McMahon. Trump is also a WWE ‘Hall of Fame’ member.
In a statement released by the Trump team, the businessman turned politician praised McMahon as having “a tremendous background,” and being “widely recognized as one of the country’s top female executives advising businesses around the globe” and who helped the WWE become a “global enterprise.” Trump also said that the former WWE executive would aim to “bring back our jobs and roll back the burdensome regulations that are hurting our middle class.”
In a statement, McMahon said, “I am honored to join the incredibly impressive economic team that President-elect Trump has assembled to ensure that we promote our country’s small businesses and help them grow and thrive.”
— Linda McMahon (@Linda_McMahon) December 7, 2016
The 68 year old is co-founder and former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, which is based in Stamford, Connecticut. Trump said that McMahon has helped the WWE grow from a 13 person operation to a publicly traded global enterprise with more than 800 employees worldwide.
She has donated millions of dollars to Republican candidates, causes and her own campaigns. She was an early Trump supporter and ultimately donated some $6 million to a pro-Trump super PAC. She and her husband were the largest single outside donors to the Trump Foundation, the controversial ‘charity’ of the President-elect.
The Small Business Administration has an office in every state and helps with financing and training for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
The position does need Senate confirmation, which may prove to be challenging for the WWE founder due to the controversial issues that have surrounded that company for decades.