The long-standing friendship between Vince McMahon and Donald Trump has been well-documented and spans more than three decades. Back in the middle of the 1980s, at the beginning of WrestleMania, McMahon and Trump first established a business relationship. Apparently, Trump’s foundation had possible link with McMahon’s unrecorded payments.
Trump enabled WrestleMania IV and V to take place in his Atlantic City casinos, and their friendship grew over the years to the point where Trump appeared on WWE television. At WrestleMania 23, he even had McMahon’s head shaved.
In 2013, Trump was also inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. McMahon persisted in lending his support even after Trump was elected president. After the 2016 election, the McMahon family visited the White House, and Linda McMahon, who campaigned for senator in 2012, was nominated to Trump’s cabinet and served as the Small Business Administrator from 2017 to 2019.
Now, high-profile investigations are focusing on both men. The Justice Department is conducting a detailed investigation into Trump’s involvement in the January 6 rioting at the White House, and the FBI just conducted a raid on his Mar-a-Lago home while allegedly looking for nuclear materials. Meanwhile, McMahon has been the focus of Wall Street Journal reporting that suggests he paid millions of dollars to numerous women to cover up claims of sexual misconduct.
These developments may have caused him to leave WWE early. Trump could possibly be connected to McMahon’s financial transgressions. Over the course of 16 years, McMahon allegedly paid four women a total of more than $12.5 million. This amount appeared to have increased when WWE’s most recent SEC filing revealed two more, previously undisclosed payments totaling $5 million.
However, after doing some research, Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics now believes that these recent unrecorded spending may in fact be connected to the Trump Foundation. As Thurston notes, the aforementioned WrestleMania 23 incident occurred in 2007, and Trump “purchased” WWE Raw out from under McMahon in 2009.
WWE was by far the biggest contributor to the Trump Foundation in 2007 and 2009, giving the organization $4 million and $1 million in those years, respectively, and in round numbers — which adds up to match the $5.0 million mentioned in the new WWE filing. Those were also years when the future U.S. president made rare appearances on WWE television programs.
Over a decade has passed with no resolution to the mystery surrounding the $5 million donation to the Trump Foundation. WWE initially claimed that the funds came from the Vincent and Linda McMahon Family Foundation, but in 2012, spokesperson Brian Flinn for WWE clarified that McMahon made the contributions personally.
This clarification may have been made to exclude Linda McMahon from these payments because she was running for the Senate at the time. Stay tuned to Thirsty for latest updates on this story.
What’s your take on this story? Sound off in the comments!