Trump taps pro-wrestling magnate Linda McMahon as small biz chief

Last Updated Dec 7, 2016 6:20 PM EST WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald Trump is adding former wrestling executive Linda McMahon to his cabinet as leader of the Small Business Administration.McMahon and her husband, Vince, founded and built World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), now a publicly traded sports entertainment company. She stepped down as the WWE chief executive officer in 2009 and in recent years began a start-up to encourage more women business owners.She also poured $100 million of her fortune into two unsuccessful bids for a U.S. Senate seat in Connecticut and has become an influential Republican donor.“Linda is going to be a phenomenal leader and champion for small businesses and unleash America’s entrepreneurial spirit all across the country,” Mr. Trump said in a statement Wednesday.Mr. Trump said she shares his vision of decreasing “burdensome regulations that are hurting our middle-class workers and small businesses.”“As an entrepreneur myself, I have shared the experiences of our nation’s small business owners and will do my best to advocate on their behalf,” McMahon said in a statement. “My husband and I built our business from scratch, building it to a publicly traded global enterprise with more than 800 employees.”McMahon has known Mr. Trump for three decades and contributed $5 million to his family charity, almost all of it in 2007. Mr. Trump has participated in WWE events, including a 2007 “Battle of the Billionaires,” during which he shaved Vince McMahon’s head.Mr. Trump wasn’t Linda McMahon’s first choice for president. She first backed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. But McMahon told the Associated Press in September that she was confident Mr. Trump would be a good president and said the two were on good terms.“Once you’re his friend, he is loyal to the end,” she said. “He’s an incredibly loyal, loyal Continue Reading

Linda McMahon on helping small businesses: ‘I can walk the walk and talk the talk’

Linda McMahon and her husband, Vince, may have had Donald Trump on their billion-dollar wrestling entertainment shows – the president even shaved Vince's head once – throughout the years, but Trump's appointment of McMahon to head the Small Business Administration wasn't just a handout after the former WWE CEO gave millions to the campaign.The WWE was small before it got large.McMahon is on tour, and aims to visit all 68 SBA districts by the end of the year to hear from small business leaders about their issues and concerns.The Ignite Tour stopped in Delaware Tuesday, when McMahon visited two Delaware companies, Masley Enterprises – where she was joined by Sen. Chris Coons – and Supercritical Fluid Technologies."My husband and I started sharing a desk in our basement," McMahon said when asked how her big business experience translates to the SBA. "The WWE that is today, which is a globally traded company and a public company, started with he and I. So I can walk the walk and talk the talk of businesses as startups." STORY:  Wilmington-based internet provider WhyFly remains net neutral McMahon said she's already been to 32 districts in 28 states. Consistent issues small business owners have across the country include tax reform ("I hope over the next few months to hear how that’s been beneficial,") the cost of health care, rolling back regulations and workforce development."We’re helping businesses create jobs, but now we have to make sure that we have the employee pipe to fill the needs of those businesses," McMahon said.The SBA, a government agency that provides support to small business and entrepreneurs through loans, has been critical to the growth of Delaware's small business, startup and entrepreneurial economy. The Small Business Innovation Research program supports scientific excellence and technological innovation through the investment of federal research funds. Grant Continue Reading

WATCH: Linda McMahon Talks SBA’s Post-Hurricane Help With John Layfield

'Backstabbing, Harassing, Lying': Don Jr. Slams Bannon After 'Treason' Remarks 'Trump Governed Without Him': Gingrich Says Bannon Has 'Exaggerated Sense of Self-Importance' WATCH FULL EPISODES OF YOUR FAVORITE FOX NEWS SHOWS! Fox Business Network's John Layfield discussed the Small Business Administration's efforts in the wake of the Gulf Coast hurricanes with administrator Linda McMahon. McMahon and her husband Vince turned the WWE wrestling federation from a small business into a $2.4 billion company. Layfield himself was one of its former stars, John "Bradshaw" Layfield. He discussed how he was a part of the WWE as it grew into the worldwide name it is today, and credited McMahon with bringing that business acumen to the agency. Read Full Article McMahon said her SBA released 68,000 loans in the wake of the 2017 hurricane, which totaled $30 billion in assistance. She said she waived all customary loan fees and sometimes connected the money directly with affected businesses. "The key focus of the SBA [during hurricane relief] is to get people back into their homes," McMahon said. McMahon was nominated to her post by President Donald Trump and took office in February 2017. Watch more above. Gutfeld: Why Trump's Tweets About Media 'The Best Motivational Tool We've Got' Tomi Lahren: Unlike Obama, Pres. Trump Is 'Bold Enough' to Support Iranian Protests Continue Reading

How the SBA’s Linda McMahon intends to grow small businesses in the face of budget cuts

Who is your employer? There is nearly a 1 in 2 chance it is a small business, with almost 58 million Americans being employed by one. In fact, small businesses currently make up 99 percent of all American business, and are so important to the economy that there is a federal agency designed to promote them and their role in the economy. However, many Americans do not understand the work the Small Business Administration (S.B.A.) is doing, and that is something new administrator, Linda McMahon is trying to change. She plans to roll out a new marketing campaign within the next year. "Learning how to develop business plans, how to grow, how to pitch your business when you're trying to get investors, or to move into a different market and those are aspects of S.B.A. that are not as well known," McMahon, a former Republican Senate candidate from Connecticut and the former CEO of WWE, told CNBC's "On the Money" recently. The main goals of the S.B.A. are capital, counseling, contracts and disaster relief. "We try to encourage or at least guide entrepreneurs who may have services or products that could be bought by the federal government. The federal government is the largest purchaser of goods and services in the world," McMahon told CNBC's On The Money. Those goals are being challenged, as the agency is facing a 5 percent budget cut. McMahon said the agency plans on doing some restructuring. "What we have done is look inside S.B.A, and what I have found is there are some duplicative programs that we are going to be merging," she Continue Reading

Linda McMahon’s Body Count

This article was co-written with Damian Smithroutinely die of heart attacks, drug overdoses, suicides and strokes before the age of 50. Imagine if their company had put a "death clause" in their contracts that prevented employees and their families from suing the company. Imagine if they had gag orders to prevent family members from speaking out against what could be fairly called the most dangerous working conditions in the United States. Imagine if this candidate was so sociopathic that she would look at this billion-dollar business built on broken bodies and death as a source of pride and even as a motivator for why she deserves the power of public office. And lastly, imagine the media happily joining in with the sociopathology and giving her a free pass. Welcome to the race for Senator of Connecticut, where Republican Linda McMahon is self-funding her campaign on the bodies of the dead wrestlers who have built the billion-dollar empire that is World Wrestling Entertainment. Just this fall alone, during her campaign, we have seen the deaths of wrestlers Eddie Fatu a k a Umaga at 36, Lance Cade at 29, Luna Vachon at 48 and Jorge Gonzales at 44. In recent years we have seen the death by heart attack of wrestling legend Eddie Guerrero in 2005 and the suicide of Chris Benoit, which took place after he murdered his wife and child in 2007. To call the response to these tragedies coldblooded would be an insult to reptiles. Here is WWE spokesperson Rob Zimmerman: "Ultimately…stars in any form of entertainment should be held personally responsible for their own actions. Prescription drug overdose is a problem not only with former WWE talent, but society as a whole according to the Centers for Disease Control, as it is the second leading cause of unintentional death (particularly among younger people) in the U.S." This is like a tobacco company executive saying, "Well, lots of people get cancer." As for Linda McMahon, the wife of WWE founder and impresario Continue Reading

SBA chief Linda McMahon talks wrestling, touts tax plan in Phoenix

Linda McMahon, the co-founder of wrestling entertainment company WWE Inc. and President Donald Trump's pick to lead the Small Business Administration, was in Phoenix on Thursday on her tour of all 68 SBA district offices.She used the occasion to promote the Republican tax overhaul now under consideration by Congress and to talk about her work with the SBA, which was created by Congress to assist small-business owners.WWE is an international company that produces live events, licenses a plethora of merchandise and has its own network. McMahon stepped down from the business in 2009 before launching two bids for Congress in her home state of Connecticut.Her husband, Vince McMahon, remains as CEO of the company and their daughter Stephanie McMahon works as chief brand officer. Stephanie's husband, Paul Levesque, is an executive vice president with the company and performed as wrestler "Triple H." The elder McMahons also have a son, Shane, who has been involved in various aspects of the family business.McMahon talked about taxes and a little about wrestling on Thursday.She said small-business owners would see lower tax bills under the plan in Congress and that they could reinvest those savings into their operations."I haven't talked to one who didn't tell me they would reinvest those savings," she said. "What you will find so often is they care so much for their employees. They would rather pay them more money and keep them."She acknowledged differences in the House and Senate plans but said that compromise would make a better deal."The process is correct that we are going through right now," she said, adding that as a CEO, she found the only deals that last to be those where all sides worked out a compromise.The following is a portion of her interview, edited for space and clarity. Have you learned anything surprising about the SBA since your appointment? "I believe SBA is the best-kept secret in the entire country. One of the things I found out Continue Reading

Trump picks WWE co-founder Linda McMahon for Small Business Administration

President-elect Donald Trump said Wednesday he will nominate Linda McMahon — co-founder of the WWE pro wrestling empire — to be the leader of his Small Business Administration."My America First agenda is going to bring back our jobs and roll back the burdensome regulations that are hurting our middle class workers and small businesses," Trump said in announcing McMahon's nomination.Touting her experience in the pro wrestling business, Trump said that McMahon "helped grow WWE from a modest 13-person operation to a publicly traded global enterprise with more than 800 employees in offices worldwide. Linda is going to be a phenomenal leader and champion for small businesses and unleash America's entrepreneurial spirit all across the country."Accepting the nomination, McMahon said that "small businesses are the largest source of job creation in our country,” and "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, who ran unsuccessfully for the Senate from Connecticut in 2010 and 2012, was an early supporter of Trump's presidential bid. She founded the WWE with her husband, Vince McMahon, to whom she's been married for 50 years.McMahon has emerged as a big financial benefactor of Republicans in recent elections, including Trump. She donated a total of $6 million to a pro-Trump super PAC, Federal Election Commission records show.Trump has appeared on wrestling shows and is a member of the WWE Hall of Fame. Continue Reading

Holiday wishes for John Cena, Vince McMahon, Hulk Hogan, Linda McMahon and other wrestling stars

After an exhaustive study of wind velocity, temperature variations, cloud accumulations and reindeer behavior, we say Santa's ETA will be in the next 12-16 hours. So let's have some fun figuring out what some folks would wish for under their tree. Aunts Thelma and Louise: John Cena. John Cena: Anyone but my aunts. Hulk Hogan: With his second marriage, a new version of "Hogan Knows Best." The Big Show: A part in the rumored remake of "King Kong" - playing the Empire State Building. Vince McMahon: Producing "Harry Potter and the WWE." Linda McMahon: An invite to form the most dynamic political team ever - VP to Sarah Palin for 2012 presidential race. Tazz: Playing himself in a "Bugs Bunny" film. Dudley Boyz: A gift certificate to Home Depot for tables. Rey Mysterio: My old mask. Shawn Michaels, Wade Barrett and Kane to remake "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly." Dixie Carter: Appearing on "Dancing with the Stars." Ric Flair: Dixie's partner. Kevin Nash: A map showing the Fountain of Youth. Mark Henry: A daily delivery of Papa John's. Sting: A WWE contract. Starring roles for Steve Austin, the Rock, the Undertaker, Triple H, Randy Orton, the Miz and Edge in a remake of "The Magnificent Seven." Rob Van Dam, Kurt Angle, Tommy Dreamer and Mick Foley redo "The Wild Bunch." Tying the rope And speaking of "TLC," Edge won the world title for the 10th time. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Linda McMahon, Richard Blumenthal locked in no-holds barred grudge match in Connecticut

HARTFORD - The battle for a high-profile U.S. Senate seat was never a lovefest, but with each passing day it's turning into a no-holds-barred steel-cage smackdown. Former World Wrestling Entertainment Chief Executive Linda McMahon - wife of wrestling icon Vince McMahon - is battling longtime Democratic Attorney General Richard Blumenthal to succeed retiring Sen. Christopher Dodd. "It's unusually negative for Connecticut," said Quinnipiac University pollster Douglas Schwartz. "She has been saturating the airwaves and hammering Blumenthal." McMahon has spent more than $20 million of her wrestling-generated fortune on the race and launched a barrage of attack ads, including one slamming Blumenthal for falsely claiming he served in Vietnam. "If he lied about Vietnam, what else is he lying about?" the announcer asks. Blumenthal had told audiences he served in Vietnam when he was actually a Marine reservist who never went overseas. He has scrambled and apologized for what he termed misstatements. For his part, Blumenthal has been hammering McMahon over wrestling's depiction of women and steroid use by some high-profile grapplers. "They are really just tearing each other apart," said 54-year-old Democrat Linda Scott of Hartford. Scott, who was laid off from her insurance company job in 2007 and has since worked a succession of temp jobs, said both candidates need to talk more about fixing the economy. "It is all negative," echoed Republican Sal Zappulla, 46, also of Hartford. "They are not talking about what they are going to do when they get in there." The ad blitz helped McMahon transform what was once considered a laugher for Blumenthal into a race that was as close as three points in a September poll. A Quinnipiac poll on Thursday showed Blumenthal with an 11-point lead and voters - especially independents and women - showing signs of what Schwartz calls "McMahon fatigue." Blumenthal's campaign recently went on the offensive, portraying McMahon Continue Reading

Linda McMahon resigns as WWE chief executive to run for Connecticut Senate against Dodd

STAMFORD, Conn. — World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. said Wednesday that Linda McMahon has resigned as the company's chief executive to seek the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Connecticut Democrat Christopher Dodd.McMahon's husband, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, will assume her duties as CEO, the company said in a statement.Linda McMahon, 60, formally announced her candidacy Wednesday morning. She said Washington is "out of control" and Dodd has "lost his way and our trust."McMahon is up against three other Republicans — former U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons, state Sen. Sam Caligiuri and former U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Tom Foley.Dodd plans to run for a sixth term next year.Linda and Vince McMahon, a professional wrestler, announcer and promoter, co-founded WWE together. Linda McMahon has served as CEO since May 1997 and served as the company's president from May 1993 through June 2000. Vince McMahon has been chairman since 1980. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading