Former WWE CEO Vince McMahon secretly paid $5 million to the Trump Foundation as Donald Trump appeared at events like WrestleMania

·2 min read
trump mcmahon
Donald Trump shaving Vince McMahon's head at WrestleMania 23 in 2007.Leon Halip/WireImage
  • Former WWE CEO Vince McMahon made undisclosed payments totaling $5 million to the Trump Foundation.

  • $4 million and $1 million were paid in 2007 and 2009, the same years Trump appeared at WWE events.

  • McMahon retired last month amid the WWE board's investigation into hush payments and misconduct claims.

Vince McMahon, the former WWE CEO who retired last month amid misconduct allegations, made previously undisclosed payments to former President Donald Trump's charity totaling $5 million in 2007 and 2009, the same years Trump appeared on televised WWE events, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

McMahon paid the Trump Foundation $4 million in 2007, the year Trump appeared at WrestleMania 23 and shaved McMahon's head in the ring. He then paid $1 million to the Foundation in 2009, the same year Trump appeared on WWE's "Raw," according to The Journal.

A WWE spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment, nor did an attorney for McMahon. McMahon's attorney did tell The Journal the payments "should have been booked as business expenses" because they "benefited the company."

The $5 million was part of nearly $20 million that came out of McMahon's pocket but should have been reported, the WWE said in a securities filing this month.

WWE's board had been investigating hush payments McMahon made to female former WWE employees, some of whom had accused him of misconduct; the company said that the $5 million was unrelated to those payments, but didn't disclose what it was for, according to The Journal.

McMahon and Trump have been close friends for years. While he was president, Trump appointed McMahon's wife, Linda McMahon, to lead the Small Business Administration from 2017 to 2019.

Read the original article on Business Insider