Las Vegas casino magnate Steve Wynn resigned Saturday from his role as finance chair of the Republican National Committee, a day after the Wall Street Journal reported on his alleged "decades-long pattern of sexual misconduct."
"Today I accepted Steve Wynn’s resignation as Republican National Committee Finance Chair," RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel said in a statement shared with BuzzFeed News.
"Effective today I am resigning as Finance Chairman of the RNC," Wynn said in a statement to the RNC obtained by BuzzFeed News. "The unbelievable success we have achieved must continue. The work we are doing to make America a better place is too important to be impaired by this distraction. I thank the President for the opportunity to serve and wish him continued success."
The news was first reported by Politico.
Wynn's resignation came after more than 24 hours of silence on the allegations from top Republicans, who had previously called on Democrats to return donations from Harvey Weinstein immediately following the first allegations of his sexual misconduct. The Democratic National Committee on Friday mocked the RNC for what they said was hypocrisy.
McDaniel's statement Saturday did not explicitly address the allegations against Wynn, or say what, if anything, the committee will do with the funds Wynn contributed or helped raise.
Wynn, who is a close associate of President Donald Trump and last week hosted an expensive fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago to toast the president's first year in office, had been tapped for the prominent RNC role (essentially the chief fundraiser) last year. According to Federal Election Commission filings, Wynn donated more than $200,000 to Republicans in 2017. About $69,000 of that went to the RNC.
On Sunday, Republican Senators Susan Collins and Lindsey Graham called on the G.O.P. to return Wynn's donations.
"We should do of ourselves what we ask of the Democratic party if these allegations have merit," Graham said on CBS' "This Week." "So I don’t think we should have a double standard for ourselves.”
And in response to a question about whether Republicans who took money from Wynn should return it, Collins told "State of the Union" host Jake Tapper that “if they have 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." She added that she has never received money from Wynn.
Trump and McDaniel spoke about the Wynn situation before Wynn’s resignation Saturday, a source familiar with the conversation confirmed to BuzzFeed News.
Friday's Wall Street Journal report was based on dozens of interviews with people, some of who described Wynn "pressuring employees to perform sex acts." The newspaper reported he paid a $7.5 million settlement to a manicurist who said she was pressured into having sex with him, despite her objections. Another woman, a massage therapist, said she was pressured into masturbating him during sessions over several months.
Wynn told the newspaper in a written statement that it was “preposterous” he “ever would assault any woman," but he didn't respond to all the newspaper's questions.
"We find ourselves in a world where people can make allegations, regardless of the truth, and a person is left with the choice of weathering insulting publicity or engaging in multi-year lawsuits," Wynn said. "It is deplorable for anyone to find themselves in this situation.”
David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News in New York.
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