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President Trump has twice now given a formal farewell to a senior member of his administration. You will recall the White House farewell for Ambassador Nikki Haley. On Friday, President Trump held another side-by-side sit-down farewell and exit interview. This time it was Small Business Administration Administrator Linda McMahon.
The Linda McMahon ceremony was held at Mar-a-Lago. As with Ambassador Haley, Administrator McMahon sat side-by-side with President Trump. Instead of two chairs, they both sat on a couch, the upholstery in both settings being similar.
The President praised Linda McMahon and indicated she was leaving her post to take up a role in “the reelection.” He then conducted a sort of exit interview in front of the cameras, starting out “I’d like to know what has been your highlight, and what are some of the great things you’ve done, just so they all know [gestured to the press camaras], so that we can put it right on the record [smiles into the press camaras].” Linda McMahon, like Nikki Haley, was warmly appreciative of the opportunity to serve and proud of her service.
It is worth considering this event for at least two narratives. First, we are told of President Trump’s ill-mannered, ungracious casting aside of good and powerful men. The president, we are told time and again, does not know or care how to properly part with senior staff. Clearly, this is not entirely true, as we have seen two very gracious farewells.
Second, what do both of these gracious farewells have in common? The most obvious commonality is both honorees were women. But wait, we have been told repeatedly that Donald Trump has always been a boor with women. How can it be, that of all the great and powerful men who have served in his administration, the only members to be formally honored were two women? Perhaps there is a great deal more to the story than the media narrative.
Naturally, the media, in the room, wanted nothing to do with the story in front of them. Not one question was asked of or about Administrator McMahon. The pro forma real reporter question came out first: “Can you tell us who [will be your SBA Administrator nominee]?” From there, it was all hostile questions.
The president was comfortable and strong in all his answers. He gave them six minutes to prove his point, made at the very beginning when he invited Administrator McMahon to tell of her accomplishments “so [the press] all know… put it right on the record.” Truth Cries Out but is stifled and distorted by the media.
McMahon smiled calmly through it. The president, having let the press reinforce his long-term theme (#fakenews), wrapped up the ceremony. He turned back to the Administrator, thanked her profusely, emphasized this was how to send off someone who had done a great job (see the Ambassador Haley video linked above). President Trump pointed out the great jobs situation, good signs in the election battleground states and the importance of sustaining the economic “miracle” by winning the 2020 election.