This is real: Donald Trump has chosen billionaire and former World Wrestling Entertainment president Linda McMahon to run the Small Business Administration during his presidency.
It may be shocking to some, but I have a feeling anybody who spent the last year and a half following Trump isn’t all that surprised.
Despite Trump’s emphasis on McMahon’s business acumen, the real reasons for the pick are likely more Trumpian than that.
First, the president-elect is a WWE Hall of Fame member who has experience inside the ring. And, look, he even has his own page on the WWE website.
What’s even more likely, though, is that McMahon helped bail the Trump Foundation out of debt in 2007, when she gave a whopping $4 million to the organization. Thanks to her donation, the foundation was able to finish that year with $3.2 million in the bank and remain on a solid footing since – also, those massive self-portraits of Trump didn’t just pay for themselves.
More from the Washington Post:
The biggest single contribution came in 2007. That year, Vince and Linda McMahon of World Wrestling Entertainment fame gave the foundation $4 million. (The contribution is listed in the foundation’s tax filings as having come from WWE itself, which a representative of WWE told The Post is incorrect.) Thanks to that contribution, the foundation ended 2007 with $3.2 million in the bank. It had $3 million at the end of 2008.
At the end of 2011, it still had $2.1 million left over, having collected $6.8 million between 2007 and 2011 (including that McMahon money) and having given out $4.6 million to charities. It’s all one big pot of money, so you can’t draw a clear line from one incoming contribution to one going back out, but without that McMahon check, the Trump Foundation would not have been able to make the contributions it made from 2007 through the end of 2012.
That’s right, McMahon helped keep Trump’s slush fund from going under.
The president-elect’s announcement that she will lead the Small Business Administration isn’t the result of thoughtful decision making on Trump’s part. It’s simply the latest indication that Trump values loyalty to him and his interests above all else.
A $4 million donation from wrestling magnate Linda McMahon put the Trump Foundation in the black. Now he’s named her to run Small Biz Admin. https://t.co/psZE4VpbXA
— Alec MacGillis (@AlecMacGillis) December 7, 2016
Not only did McMahon donate millions to keep his foundation afloat, but she was also an early supporter of the president-elect’s campaign. Trump tapping her as head of the SBA was his way of returning the favor.
This is the reality show version of politics that we’re stuck with for the next four years.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.