That was quick. A day after a report in the Wall Street Journal detailed how Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn has engaged in a “decades-long pattern of sexual misconduct,” he resigned from his post as Republican National Committee finance chairman. RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel confirmed the news in a statement Saturday afternoon after speaking to President Donald Trump about the issue in the morning, according to Politico.
Trump had personally picked Wynn for the role of finance chair in what was the latest chapter of the complicated relationship between the two men. Wynn was once a rival of Trump’s in the casino world and he also backed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio for senator, but lately has become a close ally of the president. Trump allegedly supported Wynn’s decision to step down because of the political damage the allegations could cause.
Wynn, who has been a huge Republican donor over the past decade, staunchly denied the allegations detailed in the Journal piece, calling them “the continued work of my ex-wife Elaine Wynn, with whom I am involved in a terrible and nasty lawsuit in which she is seeking a revised divorce settlement.” He added that the “idea that I ever assaulted any woman is preposterous.” Wynn Resorts did set up a special committee to investigate the allegations that caused its stock to plunge more than 10 percent Friday.
The RNC losing its finance chair as the party heads toward the midterms, could make fundraising that much more difficult. Plus, it will help Democrats push the idea that Republicans should return any money that Wynn gave them. “In the exact words of RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, ‘If you stand for treating women well and you stand for the respect of women, you shouldn’t take money from somebody who treated women with the absolute highest level of disrespect’,” said Sabrina Singh, a spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee. Singh referred to a previous statement by McDaniel in which she called on Democrats to return donations made by Harvey Weinstein.
Among the episodes detailed by the Wall Street Journal, Wynn allegedly forced a manicurist to have sex with him and pressured a masseuse to pleasure him. The New York Daily News summarizes some of the other inappropriate behavior detailed in the piece:
-Wynn regularly walked around his complex in extremely short shirts without underwear.
-He often sat for pedicures in a way that exposed his genitals.
-He repeatedly propositioned his wife’s married assistant — calling her up to ask, “What are you wearing?” and “Why don’t you hang out with me?” He told one employee, “So when are you going to come into my office and f–k me?”
-He directed his longtime assistant to track down the home phone numbers of casino cocktail waitresses.
-Women workers were so afraid to be alone with him they sometimes hid in bathrooms when they learned he was on his way to the salon.
-Others scheduled fake appointments for women employees to avoid having to service him at his office in Wynn Resort.