Linda McMahon is the latest member of the Trump administration to exit, announcing that she will leave her position as administrator of the Small Business Administration on 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,” the 70-year-old Greenwich resident said in a statement. “I’ve had the opportunity to witness firsthand the transformative impact the president’s growth policies are having on communities across this country: small businesses are reporting some of the highest levels of optimism on record … raising wages, providing bonuses and benefits, and creating more jobs.”
Unlike many who have left the administration – some forcefully – McMahon will retain ties to Trump.
“She has been a superstar,” he said at a press conference at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida. “She’s going to go and help us with a very, very important year and a half that we have coming up. And the re-election, as they call it. And we look forward to that.”
According to reports, McMahon will chair the America First Action PAC, which supports Trump’s candidacy and policies; it has raised over $39 million since last spring. America First’s former chairman, Tommy Hicks Jr., was named co-chair of the Republican National Committee earlier this year.
McMahon donated about $7 million to a political action committee that supported Trump’s candidacy during the 2016 campaign.
“I wish to thank the president and I will continue to be a strong advocate for him and his policies,” McMahon said.
McMahon – who is married to Vince McMahon, chairman and CEO of Stamford-based WWE – will apparently not run for public office again, having spent some $50 million on each of her two U.S. Senate defeats: one against Richard Blumenthal in 2010 and the other against Chris Murphy in 2012.
Despite rumors that she could succeed Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross when he resigns, her own resignation would appear to improve the prospects of acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney for that job.
It is unclear who will replace McMahon at the SBA; some reports have tipped Pradeep Belur, its chief of staff, as a likely candidate.
There has been a 66 percent turnover in Trump’s senior executive team since his election, according to the Brookings Institute. That figure does not include senior cabinet positions – SBA administrator also falls outside of the group – which to date has seen one resignation each from a secretary of state, secretary of defense, attorney general and secretary of health and human services.
As for “cabinet-level positions,” which includes SBA administrator, the White House has since January 2017 had three chiefs of staff, two CIA directors, three Environmental Protection Agency administrators and three FBI directors.