POLITICS

RNC Still Says It Won't Return Alleged Sexual Predator Steve Wynn's Money

Last fall, the party vehemently pushed Democrats to return their donations from Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, a major Democratic donor.

WASHINGTON ― The Republican National Committee stood by its decision to keep donations from its former finance chair Steve Wynn, even as years of sexual misconduct allegations forced the casino magnate to step down from his company Tuesday night.

Wynn resigned as the RNC’s finance chair on Jan. 27 following a Wall Street Journal investigation that alleged he had engaged in serial sexual harassment and assault against employees at his Las Vegas casinos and properties over the years. 

Last fall, the RNC vehemently pushed Democrats to return their donations from Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, a major donor to Democratic lawmakers, in response to his sexual abuse allegations.

Asked whether the RNC would do the same with Wynn’s money, chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said on Fox News last week that the allegations were “troubling,” but the party would only return his donations “if he is found of any wrongdoing.”

An RNC spokesman told HuffPost on Wednesday that the party’s position had not changed, pointing to a tweet from Wall Street Journal reporter Rebecca Ballhaus.

Wynn currently faces investigations from the Nevada Gaming Control Board and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, and from his own company’s board.

The RNC’s defense of not giving back Wynn’s donations is similar to how it explained its support for other Republicans accused of sexual misconduct, namely Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore and President Donald Trump. In each case, the RNC justified its financial aid because the men had denied the sexual harassment and assault allegations.

RNC chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel (left) introducing President Donald Trump (right) at the Republican National Committee's
RNC chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel (left) introducing President Donald Trump (right) at the Republican National Committee's winter meeting in Washington last week.

While announcing his resignation in a statement Tuesday night, Wynn continued to dismiss the allegations against him, claiming that he had become “the focus of an avalanche of negative publicity,” and arguing that “a rush to judgment takes precedence over everything else, including the facts.”

In the Wall Street Journal investigation, dozens of current and former employees detailed a “decades-long pattern of sexual misconduct,” including one case in which Wynn reportedly paid a manicurist a $7.5 million settlement, after he pressured her into sex.

CONVERSATIONS