Donald Trump hires ex-pro wrestling boss

  • 08/12/2016

US President-elect Donald Trump plans to nominate professional wrestling magnate and former Senate candidate Linda McMahon as his choice to head the Small Business Administration, transition officials told Reuters on Wednesday.

McMahon, 68, is a co-founder and former chief executive of the professional wrestling franchise WWE, which is based in Stamford, Connecticut.

She ran unsuccessfully for a US Senate seat in Connecticut in 2010. She was an early supporter of Mr Trump's presidential campaign.

Mr Trump's announcement, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, said McMahon would be a key player in his effort to generate stronger job growth and roll back federal regulations.

He said she had helped the WWE grow from a 13-person operation to a publicly traded global enterprise with more than 800 employees worldwide. Donald Trump is a WWE Hall of Fame member.

"Linda has a tremendous background and is widely recognised as one of the country's top female executives advising businesses around the globe," Mr Trump said in the announcement.

McMahon said her goal as the SBA chief would be to promote small businesses and help them grow and thrive.

"Our small businesses are the largest source of job creation in our country," she said.

Mr Trump is continuing to appoint officials to his administration, with reports he's tapped his environment and domestic security picks as well as his envoy to China.

He reportedly plans to nominate retired Marine General John Kelly, the former head of the US Southern Command, to lead the Department of Homeland Security.

Mr Trump also picked an ardent opponent of President Barack Obama's measures to stem climate change to head the Environmental Protection Agency, a Trump transition team source said.

Mr Trump's choice, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, has enraged environmental activists, but he fits with the Republican president-elect's promise to cut the agency back and eliminate regulation that he says is stifling oil and gas drilling.

Pruitt became the top prosecutor for Oklahoma, which has extensive oil reserves, in 2011, and has challenged the EPA multiple times since, including in a pending lawsuit to throw out the EPA's Clean Power Plan.

The plan is the centrepiece of Obama's climate change strategy and requires states to curb carbon output.