Linda McMahon, a former professional wrestling executive and leading donor to President Donald Trump's campaign and former charity, is planning to resign as administrator of the Small Business Administration, a senior administration official confirmed Friday.
Trump told reporters that a news conference was planned at 4 p.m. Friday at his Mar-a-Lago estate about reports that McMahon is stepping down. At the event, the president will praise McMahon's tenure leading an agency that facilities loans and otherwise serves as an advocate for the nation's small businesses, said the official, who requested anonymity to discuss a personnel move.
While she is leaving the Trump administration, McMahon, 70, is expected to play a role in Trump's 2020 reelection bid, the official said. Her departure was first reported by Politico.
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 his 2007 "Battle of the Billionaires" fight at WrestleMania, in which he slammed Vince McMahon to the floor and later shaved his 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 Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D. She lost another Senate bid in 2012 to Chris Murphy, D.
McMahon contributed heavily to an outside group backing Trump's 2016 presidential bid. She had previously 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.
This article was written by Josh Dawsey and John Wagner, reporters for The Washington Post.