wrestling / News

Vince McMahon’s Unrecorded $5 Million Payments Confirmed To Be To Trump Foundation

August 17, 2022 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
President Donald Trump WWE Vince McMahon Image Credit: WWE

A new report has confirmed that the additional $5 million found by the WWE Board of Directors in unrecorded payments from Vince McMahon went to the Trump Foundation. As reported last week, Wrestlenomics’ Brandon Thurston had found that the payments McMahon made that were discovered late in the process of the Board’s Special Committee investigation into McMahon were likely made to the Trump Foundation in exchange for appearances made in 2007 ($4 million) and 2009 ($1 million). The Wall Street Journal reports that those payments, which should have been recorded as official WWE company expenses, were paid to Donald Trump’s foundation in exchange for his appearances in those years.

The outlet reports that an attorney for WWE confirmed the payments to Trump “should have been booked as business expenses because Mr. McMahon was a principal shareholder and the payments benefited the company.” The spokesperson declined to say why the payments benefited WWE.

The Trump Foundation’s 2007 and 2009 tax returns show contributions of $4 million and $1 million from WWE. and Trump’s contract for his WrestleMania 23 appearance reportedly said that Trump directed McMahon to send a $4 million appearance fee to the Foundation, and that Trump’s associates “review[ed] the contract to ensure that under no circumstances would Mr. McMahon be allowed to shave his head, even if Mr. Trump’s wrestler [Bobby Lashley] dropped dead in the ring.”

The WSJ adds that Trump boasted publicly that he was given an additional $1 because of the success of the show, but Jerry McDevitt denied that claim and said, ““Mr. Trump and WWE entered into a contract whereby WWE agreed to and did pay him personally an appearance fee of $1 million. At the same time, the McMahons made a personal contribution to the Trump Foundation of $4 million. There was no additional fee paid to Mr. Trump, or any additional contribution to the Trump Foundation, due to the success of the event.”