Two Republican senators press GOP over Steve Wynn donations, following sexual misconduct allegations

Jan 29, 2018
  • By Sean Sullivan
  • The Washington Post
Charles Krupa/AP
This March 15, 2016, file photo, shows casino mogul Steve Wynn at a news conference in Medford, Mass. Wynn Resorts is denying multiple allegations of sexual harassment and assault by its founder Steve Wynn, describing it as a smear campaign related to divorce proceedings from his ex-wife. The Wall Street Journal reported Friday, Jan. 26, 2018, that a number of women say they were harassed or assaulted by the casino mogul. Wynn denied the allegations personally in a printed statement.

A Republican senator urged party candidates to return monetary contributions from embattled casino mogul Steve Wynn on Sunday, while a second GOP senator encouraged Republican officials to be open to refunding the cash. 

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said that if Republicans "have accepted contributions recently from him that have not been spent," they should give those back. 

Wynn stepped down as finance chairman of the Republican National Committee Saturday amid allegations of sexual misconduct. 

"I don't even think it's a close call to return the money," Collins said. She said she was "very pleased" that Wynn stepped down from his RNC position and called the allegations he is facing "very serious." 

In a brief written statement Saturday saying she had accepted Wynn's resignation, RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel did not address what she would do with the money he had helped the committee raise. 

"We should do of ourselves what we ask of the Democratic Party, if these allegations have merit," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., in an interview on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos." "I don't think we should have a double standard for ourselves." 

A Wall Street Journal report Thursday included interviews with dozens of people who have worked at Wynn's casinos or had been informed of his alleged misconduct, including accusations that he pressured some employees to perform sexual acts. Wynn has denied the allegations. 

After allegations against entertainment executive Harvey Weinstein surfaced last year, McDaniel and other GOP leaders quickly called on Democrats to return his donations. 

Wynn has given more than $1.5 million to the RNC and other campaign committees in the past five years. He also contributed to Democrats in 2000 and, before backing Trump, donated $2,700 to Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.