Steve Wynn steps down from RNC

Steve Wynn is resigning from his position as RNC finance chairman, according to two Republican officials. Wynn is facing allegations of sexual misconduct following a story in The Wall Street Journal. He denies the allegations. POLITICO was first to report Wynn plans to step down.

Posted: Feb 8, 2018 6:14 AM
Updated: Feb 8, 2018 6:14 AM

Late on Tuesday, casino magnate Steve Wynn stepped down as CEO from Wynn Resorts, citing the distraction caused by a series of allegations of sexual harassment made against him in a recent Wall Street Journal story.

While Wynn continues to deny all of the allegations, the evidence against him is detailed and long-ranging -- a series of inappropriate actions, typically directed at younger female employees, that made it untenable for him to remain in his role at the top of his gaming empire.

Wynn had previously resigned as finance chairman of the Republican National Committee in the wake of the allegations and RNC chair Ronna McDaniel has called the allegations "very troubling" in an interview with Fox News.

But McDaniel was also very clear to distinguish between Wynn, a longtime major Republican donor, and Harvey Weinstein, a massive Democratic giver.

"Steve has denied these allegations," McDaniel said. "Unlike Harvey Weinstein and Al Franken and others, Steve has denied them."

And that's it. The RNC -- as well as other Republican leaders -- has done everything it can to distance itself from Wynn over the two weeks since the Journal story broke.

The Republican Governors Association sent back $100,000 in contributions from Wynn and canceled a planned 2020 gathering at a property owned by Wynn. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, donated his Wynn contribution, as did Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Dean Heller, R-Nevada, and Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, among others.

"If they've accepted contributions recently from him that have not been spent, absolutely, I don't even think it's a close call to return the money," Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said of her Republican colleagues on CNN's "State of the Union."

Despite those urgings, the RNC, to whom Wynn donated $375,000 at the end of 2017, has remained silent, sticking by McDaniel's initial statement that Wynn "should be allowed due process, and if he is found of any wrongdoing, we will absolutely return 100% of that money."

National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Cory Gardner of Colorado said late last month that Wynn's alleged behavior was "disturbing" but added that no decision had been made whether to return the six-figure contribution Wynn had made to the campaign committee. "We're going to take the appropriate action," Gardner said on MSNBC. "That's what we're talking about."

What these national Republican groups are hanging their defense on is the fact that Wynn, unlike Weinstein, has denied all of the allegations against him. Innocent until proven guilty -- and all that.

But that, of course, is a legal standard, not a political one. Someone doesn't need to be convicted of a crime for a political party to decide that they want to fully and completely disassociate themselves from that person.

And while Wynn had made considerable financial contributions to the RNC and the NRSC, returning those donations wouldn't exactly cripple either organization. (Note bene: The Democratic National Committee redirected the $30,000 Weinstein had donated to the organization over the last election to three groups promoting women running for office.)

So why not do it? Simple answer: Donald Trump.

Like Wynn, the President of the United States faced allegations of assault from more than a dozen women in the runup to the 2016 election. Like Wynn, Trump denied each and every one -- insisting that the accusers were coming forward because of political motives. (Worth noting: Wynn and Trump are close friends; Wynn, along with McDaniel, was the co-host of Trump's celebration of his first year as President at Mar-a-Lago last month.)

To return the contributions from Wynn -- before he had admitted any wrongdoing or been convicted of it -- would force the RNC to answer questions about the President and why the allegations against him didn't deserve the same seriousness of treatment.

Which is why individual GOP senators are able to return contributions from Wynn while the official party organizations are trying to defend what is increasingly an indefensible position.

This is then, yet again, a way in which the abnormality of Trump's background and his approach to politics makes what should be a very easy political distancing operation much, much more complicated.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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CountyCasesDeaths
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Lake48389876
Allen35806635
Hamilton32056396
St. Joseph29947512
Elkhart25376414
Vanderburgh21245378
Tippecanoe20000201
Johnson16336359
Porter15957270
Hendricks15813300
Clark11946181
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Vigo11595229
Monroe10328161
Delaware9836179
LaPorte9761196
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Bartholomew7448147
Warrick7412150
Hancock7404131
Floyd7200169
Wayne6631191
Grant6424157
Morgan6084125
Boone608288
Dubois5903111
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Marshall5423104
Henry542093
Noble509078
Jackson464566
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Gibson401281
Harrison399663
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Steuben338155
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Owen182153
Fulton178237
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Martin80114
Warren75814
Switzerland7537
Union67110
Ohio53311
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 967422

Reported Deaths: 17297
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1118511208
Cuyahoga954841746
Hamilton73202970
Montgomery47226889
Summit40110957
Butler35435471
Lucas35217765
Stark29301840
Warren22361276
Lorain21952389
Mahoning19402543
Lake18358305
Clermont18327211
Delaware16415135
Licking14939200
Fairfield14491159
Trumbull14283462
Greene13548213
Medina13347219
Clark12223336
Wood11492193
Portage10982160
Allen10762235
Richland10250206
Miami10006190
Muskingum8153130
Columbiana8103182
Pickaway8033101
Tuscarawas8016236
Marion7979137
Wayne7848219
Erie6858184
Ross6123136
Geauga6051128
Hancock5979112
Ashtabula5937145
Scioto5920104
Lawrence523174
Union511252
Darke5025124
Belmont490989
Huron4781117
Jefferson4781108
Sandusky475996
Seneca4652103
Athens463133
Washington460587
Mercer4581101
Auglaize455099
Shelby440769
Knox401186
Putnam3984101
Madison391447
Ashland378495
Fulton377964
Defiance3711102
Brown369042
Crawford356696
Logan353259
Preble352571
Clinton339964
Highland327356
Ottawa322767
Williams301878
Jackson289256
Champaign285846
Guernsey285834
Fayette267844
Perry267543
Morrow259125
Henry245565
Hardin243957
Holmes2430104
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Van Wert228849
Gallia221346
Adams215532
Pike214928
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Hocking193549
Carroll180328
Paulding159723
Meigs134837
Noble128542
Monroe116136
Morgan100534
Harrison100432
Vinton76615
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