Trump picks pro wrestling mogul to lead Small Business Administration

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Linda McMahon speaks to members of the news media after meeting with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York, U.S., November 30, 2016.   REUTERS/Mike Segar - RTSU2IJ

Linda McMahon speaks to members of the news media after meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York last month. Photo by Mike Segar/REUTERS

President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday selected Linda McMahon, the co-founder of the pro wrestling empire WWE, to run the Small Business Administration.

Trump said McMahon would help drive job growth by cutting federal regulations that stymie small businesses.

“Linda has a tremendous background and is widely recognized as one of the country’s top female executives advising businesses around the globe,” Trump said in a statement. Trump added that McMahon, 68, would be a “champion for small businesses and unleash America’s entrepreneurial spirit all across the country.”

“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,” McMahon said in a statement.

Trump has also nominated billionaire businessman Wilbur Ross as commerce secretary, and financier Steve Mnuchin as treasury secretary.

McMahon was a vocal Trump supporter during the campaign. She founded the WWE with her husband, Vince McMahon, in the early 1980s, growing the business into a multinational company now worth more than $1 billion.

McMahon stepped away from the WWE to run for a U.S. Senate seat in Connecticut as a Republican in 20010, losing to the Democrat Richard Blumenthal. McMahon lost a second Senate bid to Chris Murphy in 2012.

Trump has ties to the WWE. He appeared on Wrestlemania XXIII in 2007, while promoting his reality T.V. show The Apprentice, and is in the pro wrestling company’s hall of fame.

The president-elect’s selection of McMahon comes as he moved to fill other top positions in his administration on Wednesday.

Trump signaled plans to nominated John Kelly, a retired Marine general, as Homeland Security secretary. He also picked Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, and tapped Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad to serve as U.S. ambassador to China.

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