When Donald Trump was running for president in 2016, he said he gave money to politicians because “when you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do.”
New allegations say that he tried that tactic to end a congressional inquiry into the New England Patriots’ 2007 Spygate scandal.
Both the son and ghostwriter of the late Sen. Arlen Specter said that Trump approached Specter in 2008, promising cash if Specter dropped the Spygate probe, according to an investigation by ESPN.
Specter’s memoir references the meeting but did not name names.
“He told me it was Trump,” his son, Shanin Specter, confirmed to The Washington Post. The senator died in 2012. The accusation was corroborated by his long-time communications aide and ghostwriter Charles Robbins.
The senator felt that the NFL had swept a serious cheating scandal under the rug when it closed its investigation just four days after the Patriots were caught taping New York Jets coaches during a September 2007 game.
- The NFL took away New England’s first-round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.
- Fined the Pats $250,000.
- Fined coach Bill Belicheck $500,000.
Specter later ended the investigation in June 2008 after failing to drum up support for it among his colleagues.
Spokespeople for Trump and Kraft both denied the allegations. Kraft, whose estimated net worth is $6.9 billion, donated $1 million to Trump’s inauguration committee.
Trump donated $11,000 to Specter over his political career.