A new report from The Wall Street Journal says Vince McMahon paid $5 million in unrecorded company payments to former president Donald Trump’s charity.
The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that between the company's unrecorded $19.6 million in 2007 and 2009, Trump's now-defunct Donald J. There were two donations to the Trump Foundation, which totaled $5 million. McMahon resigned from WWE in July following the disclosure of the company's unrecorded expenses as well as allegations of sexual misconduct.
According to the report, WWE's lawyer told the Wall Street Journal that the payment to Trump should have been booked as a business expense, as McMahon was a major shareholder and the payment benefited the company. WWE Attorney Jerry McDevitt did not dispute the report regarding contributions but denied Trump's claim that the additional $1 million was a bonus for the success of WrestleMania 23.
“Mr. Trump and WWE entered into a contract whereby WWE agreed to and did pay him personally an appearance fee of $1 million,” McDevitt told the Wall Street Journal. “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.”
In 2007, Trump played part in a storyline where he feuded with Vince McMahon, leading to a hair vs. hair match at WrestleMania 23, with Umaga (McMahon) and Bobby Lashley (Trump) representing the two men. Lashley won the match, and McMahon's hair was shaved off as a result. Trump appeared on WWE television again in 2009 in a quickly dropped storyline that involved Trump purchasing Raw from McMahon, then selling it back to him for "double the price".
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