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New Report Suggests Vince McMahon’s $5 Million In Unrecorded Payments May Have Been to Trump Foundation

August 12, 2022 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
President Donald Trump WWE Vince McMahon Image Credit: WWE

The new $5 million worth of expenses WWE found in its Vince McMahon investigation may have been made to the Trump Foundation, according to a new report. As reported earlier this week, the company made a new filing to the SEC revealing that it had found an additional $5 million beyond the $14.9 million previously discovered and allegedly connected to hush payments the former CEO and Chairman made to cover up relationships and allegations of sexual misconduct. Now, Wrestlenomics’ Brandon Thurston reports that the payments seem more likely to be connected to the former President of the US than to further hush payments.

According to Thurston, WWE spent $5 million in 2007 and 2009, the same years the SEC filing attributed the unrecorded expenses to, in payments to the Donald J. Trump Foundation. These were found in IRS filings. The payments were $4 million in 2007 and $1 million in 2009. The records attribute the payments to WWE and use the address of WWE headquarters, as opposed to Vince and/or Linda McMahon. Statements from WWE’s PR team in 2012 labeled the donations as personal ones from Vince and Linda.

Trump appeared on WWE TV in 2007 for the “Battle of the Billionaires” at WrestleMania 23, and also “bought” WWE in a storyline in 2009 before selling it back soon after. A WWE spokesperson said in 2016 that the donations to the Trump Foundation served as appearance fees and said “WWE paid Donald Trump appearance fees separately … Vince and Linda McMahon made personal donations to Donald Trump’s foundation.”

Trump has previously accepted donations to the Foundation for appearances on television, such as ones for NBCUniversal and Comedy Central. The report speculates that such a payment might have allowed Trump to avoid paying taxes on the donations, which he has reportedly tried to do at other times.

WWE had yet to respond to a request for comment from Thurston on whether the payments and years were a coincidence.