According to the Wall Street Journal, WWE’s Board of Directors discovered that Vince McMahon donated $5 million to Donald Trump’s charity. The $5 million in payments were made in 2007 and 2009. Trump also appeared on WWE programming during those years. He appeared in the Battle of the Billionaires storyline in 2007, which resulted in McMahon having his head shaved at WrestleMania 23.
Trump appeared in a storyline in 2009 in which he purchased control of Monday Night Raw. Wrestlenomics.com’s Brandon Thurston noted the possible Trump connection last week. McMahon paid out $19.6 million in unrecorded expenses, including payments to Trump’s charity. According to people familiar with the board investigation, the $5 million was for donations to the now-defunct Donald J. Trump Foundation.
According to a WWE attorney, the payments to Trump should have been recorded as business expenses even though McMahon was the primary shareholder and the payments profited the company. The story also stated that Trump had his associates review Trump’s contract for the WrestleMania 23 match to ensure that nothing was stated in which he would have to get his head shaved, even if McMahon’s wrestler (Umaga) died in the ring.
Mr. Trump and WWE signed a contract
Mr. Trump and WWE signed a contract in which WWE consented to and did pay him a $1 million appearance fee, according to Jerry McDevitt, who told the WSJ via email. At same time, the McMahons made a $4 million personal contribution to the Trump Foundation. Due to the event’s success, no additional fee was paid to Mr. Trump, nor was any additional contribution made to the Trump Foundation.
Trump recieved a $100,000 fee for his 2009 Raw presence, and Linda McMahon made a $1 million charity to Trump’s foundation, according to McDevitt. According to the report, Trump was known to donate his appearance fees for other events to his charity. According to his tax returns, Comedy Central donated $400,000 to the Trump Foundation in 2011.
Nevertheless, Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics conducted some research and believes that all these new unpublished expenses may be related to the Trump Foundation. Thurston wrote that WWE was by far the largest contributor to the Trump Foundation in 2007 and 2009, giving the organisation $4 million and $1 million in those years, respectively, and in round numbers that add up to match the $5.0 million mentioned in the new WWE filing. Those were also the years when the future President of the United States made rare showings on WWE television shows.