Donald Trump: How A Donation That Put His Foundation In The Black Helped Linda McMahon Become Small Business Administration Director

The relationship between Donald Trump and the McMahons have spanned for decades. With Trump popularizing himself from his real estate success in New York/New Jersey, and now all over the world, Vince McMahon decided to benefit from his relationship with the mogul-turned-reality TV star. In 1988, WWE hosted its annual WrestleMania IV event in Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, formerly located in Atlantic City, New Jersey. This event saw a tournament to crown the vacant WWE championship, which was won by the “Macho Man” Randy Savage.

WWE WrestleMania Randy Savage Trump Hotel
“Macho Man” Randy Savage after his WrestleMania IV WWE championship win [Image by WWE]

WWE would return the very next year for WrestleMania V. This year, Randy Savage was now one of most hated wrestlers in the business, turning his back on his once “Mega Powers” teammate Hulk Hogan after a jealous rage over Elizabeth. With the tagline of “The Mega Powers Explode,” Hogan was able to gain retribution from Savage in the over 90,000-square-foot facility, leaving the fans a warm moment to end the show.

Although the building would close down in 2014, WWE was able to be a part of its 30-year existence, with two of the most pivotal WrestleMania events of the entire series.

Vince McMahon and Donald Trump would once again partner up in 2007 and be involved in a major storyline to headline the event. Commencing in a bitter rivalry leading up to the show, the culmination of the feud was a hair vs. hair match, with both having their respective competitors to defend their honor. For McMahon, it was Umaga, and for Trump, it was Bobby Lashley. Former WWE Champion and current WWE Hall of Famer “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was the special guest referee. The end saw Umaga losing to Lashley, and McMahon getting his head shaved by Trump.

Interestingly, though viewed as rivals inside the ring, they were actually very close friends behind the scenes. In fact, per the Washington Post, Vince and Linda McMahon helped bail Trump out of a lawsuit filed against him as a result of unpaid funds resulting from an event that promised a contestant $1 million if a hole-in-one was made. Although the hole-in-one was successful, the award was not. The loophole that got Trump and partner of the event, former NBA star Alonzo Mourning, out of a substantial financial payout was that the yardage of the hole-in-one was not accurate to standards. However, a settlement did pay $500,000 to a charity of the winner’s choosing.

This left Trump with less than $5,000 in the Trump Foundation’s account. However, with the McMahons being one of the biggest donors of 2007, it put the account in a comfortable position.

“By the end of 2006, the Trump Foundation had a grand total of $4,238 in the bank. In 2007, Trump himself contributed $35,000 to the nonprofit and, in 2008, he gave an additional $30,000. Those were the last donations he made through the end of 2014 — the most recent year for which data are available. But the foundation gave out millions in charitable contributions over that period, thanks to donations made by others affiliated with Trump.

“The biggest single contribution came in 2007. That year, Vince and Linda McMahon of World Wrestling Entertainment fame gave the foundation $4 million. (The contribution is listed in the foundation’s tax filings as having come from WWE itself, which a representative of WWE told The Post is incorrect.) Thanks to that contribution, the foundation ended 2007 with $3.2 million in the bank. It had $3 million at the end of 2008.”

It is no surprise that Linda McMahon was elected to be a part of the Trump cabinet due to their strong relationship over the years.

While McMahon does not have much political experience, aside from a couple failed Senate campaigns, WWE as an entity alone shows that the McMahons know how to turn a family business into a media and sports entertainment juggernaut.

[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]

Share this article: Donald Trump: How A Donation That Put His Foundation In The Black Helped Linda McMahon Become Small Business Administration Director
More from Inquisitr