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Trump is a ‘good listener’ and other insights from Linda McMahon

Here’s what someone who has known the president for more than 20 years had to say.

U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with  Small Business Administration head Linda McMahon Mark Wilson / Getty
Shirin Ghaffary is a senior Vox correspondent covering the social media industry. Previously, Ghaffary worked at BuzzFeed News, the San Francisco Chronicle, and TechCrunch.

Linda McMahon, who was appointed by President Trump to lead the Small Business Administration in 2016, has known him for over 20 years. She can tell you firsthand what it’s like working with him.

Speaking onstage at Recode’s Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., on Tuesday, McMahon had some takeaways about the president’s character that left-leaning Silicon Valley might not hear every day.

Here are some highlights:

On what it’s like working with him

  • “He is a really good listener.”
  • “When you go in to sit with him, to have a meeting with him, he expects you to really know your stuff. He’s probative, he asks questions.”
  • “I think he gives really good direction, at least that’s been my experience.”

On his work ethic

  • “He’s one of the hardest-working presidents, I think, that we’ve had in a long time in history. He is indefatigable.”
  • “He is really a consummate businessman, he really assesses the details pretty quickly. He has a real depth of understanding of the issues that he’s dealing with.”
  • “He really focuses on what he’s doing and really cares about what he’s doing.”

On what he’s doing

  • “The president raises issues, he sticks with them, and he pushes them forward. He’ll create disruption, but that disruption I think in the end is getting things done.”
  • “He is accomplishing a lot.”
  • “He pushes at his own pace, and I don’t think that’s going to stop.”

On his use of social media

  • “The good thing about (his) tweets is you can see that he’s adapted to technology.”

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