Before becoming the head of the Small Business Administration under her longtime friend President Donald Trump, Linda McMahon was CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment and spent most of her adult life in a cutthroat business of carnies using any means necessary to work rubes out of money. So defending Trump in a nearly 20 minute-long interview with Katie Couric? That’s child’s play.
McMahon, who once sold a pro wrestling angle wherein her husband, Vince McMahon, made out with wrestler Trish Stratus in front of her while she was catatonic in a wheelchair, had no problem selling Trump’s childish, destructive, and dangerous behavior — no matter how many times Couric begged her to admit that it was even the tiniest bit inappropriate.
“We have to continue with out lives,” McMahon said when asked a question about Trump attacking the mayor of London after the recent terror attacks. “I think that’s what the mayor is saying, and that’s what President Trump said as well.”
“Because the mayor was really condemning the attacks,” Couric pressed, “and I think that for some people, Linda, may I call you Linda, I think they interpreted that kind of pettiness and nastiness in the wake of this tragedy as being really kind of wrongheaded and inappropriate, given what the city of London was going through at the time. Many people have said the president needs to think before he tweets, and he does set a tone and represent, in the biggest way, the United States of America and how this country projects itself to the world. So, I guess: did it trouble you at all?”
“Well, President Trump has really taken his message directly to the people through his tweets,” McMahon replied without missing a beat. “And I believe he’ll continue to do that.”
It wasn’t until seven minutes into the interview that Couric even began asking McMahon about her role as the head of the SBA, but it was in an exchange about the 2020 presidential prospects of former WWE Superstar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson that Couric finally managed to trip McMahon up:
“Dwayne, do your homework really really carefully so that you’re up on all the things you want to talk about,” McMahon said when asked what advice she might have for Johnson if he’s serious about his presidential bid. “He’s a really, very, bright smart — I can still call him a young man. He’s about my son’s age so that’s about right. He’s very passionate about what he does and he’s had some great success and, from what I’ve heard, I think he wants to give back. Now, I’m not sure what — all the different roads that would take — but if he would decide to do this, I think he would be all in.”
“Time would tell,” McMahon replied when asked if she thought Johnson would make a good president, which is remarkably conservative answer for someone who just spent the past fifteen minutes insisting that Donald Trump has great respect for the laws and traditions of America and that the problem with the world is that people have lost their civility. “[Anyone] who is willing to run for president and who wants to do a really good job for your country? I think you have to be open.”
“[Johnson] could definitely arm wrestle President Macron and give him a run for his money, couldn’t he?” Couric retorted.
“Well, I’ll tell you, he might get a great deal of the women’s vote from the reaction I hear here at SBA,” McMahon said. “Things like, ‘Couldn’t you bring him in just so we can say hello?’ Of course, I have no authority.”
“You have some sway with the Rock, I’m sure,” Couric protested, but McMahon insisted only via their friendship.
But here’s where Couric finally landed a blow on the nimble McMahon.
Couric put McMahon on the spot: “A match between The Rock and Vin Diesel is apparently a fantasy for a lot of wrestling fans. Do you think that would ever happen and who would win?”
“Well, I don’t know,” McMahon began to weave, “because I don’t write those scripts.”
“But if you did, do you think it would ever happen…?”
“Hands down, The Rock would win.”
“Really?” Couric could hardly believe it.
“Oh, of course. Hands down.”
“Why not Vin Diesel?”
“Because The Rock has got the moves.”
“Vin Diesel is not gonna be happy to hear this Linda,” Couric smiled, basking in her victory. She had finally gotten McMahon to decisively answer a question. “I think you may be hearing from him.”
“Bring it,” McMahon replied.
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