Casino mogul Steve Wynn has no immediate plans to relinquish his role as finance chairman of the Republican National Committee in the wake of reports detailing decades of alleged sexual misconduct, according to a company spokesman.
A report by the Wall Street Journal published Friday included interviews with dozens of people who have worked at Wynn’s casinos or been told of his behavior, including allegations that he pressured some employees to perform sex acts.
Wynn, 75, is an outsized figure in Las Vegas, where he built the Mirage, Treasure Island and Bellagio hotels and has used his wealth and influence for years mostly to the political benefit of Republicans. He is a one-time business rival of President Donald Trump, who last year named him head of the RNC’s fundraising operations after supporting the president’s 2016 campaign.
Wynn Resorts – the company that bears his name – saw its stock price drop at least 8 percent in the wake of the Journal’s report.
But in a written statement, Wynn strongly denied the allegations, saying they stemmed from an ongoing divorce battle with his ex-wife.
“The idea that I ever assaulted any woman is preposterous. 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 multiyear lawsuits. It is deplorable for anyone to find themselves in this situation,” Wynn said.
He added: “I remain focused on Wynn Resorts, our employees and our shareholders and will not be distracted from those efforts.”
Asked whether he planned to step down from his RNC role, company spokesman Michael Weaver said, “Neither Mr. Wynn nor the company have any comment on that.”
In recent months, Democrats and Republicans have called on the opposing side to return financial contributions or cut ties with prominent individuals accused of sexual misconduct. When allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein first surfaced, the RNC and GOP lawmakers called on the Democratic National Committee, its House and Senate campaign arms and individual Democratic candidates and lawmakers to refund his thousands of dollars in donations.
On Friday, there were no immediate calls for Republicans to cut ties to Wynn.
Wynn is among a cast of several business associates, longtime aides and friends who have fallen in and out of favor with Trump. In his book, “The Art of the Deal,” Trump said, “Wynn is very slick and smooth, but he’s also a very strange guy.” The two traded barbs in the press through the 1990s, but reconciled in recent years. Trump has occasionally cited Wynn and his support or advice since launching his presidential bid in 2015.
Before backing Trump, Wynn donated $2,700 donation to Democrat Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2015.
Last weekend, Wynn and RNC Chairman Ronna Romney McDaniel co-hosted a lavish fundraiser for Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort to mark the first anniversary of his inauguration. Trump skipped the event as he stayed in Washington to monitor the start of a partial government shutdown.
Wynn has given more than $1.5 million to various Republican Party committees and candidates in the last five years, with a six-figure donation of more than $450,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee in the 2016 cycle. While most of his donations went to the Republican Party committees, several leading Republican members of Congress, including Sens. Marco Rubio, Fla., and Ted Cruz, Texas, have also benefited from his cash.
The Washington Post’s Anu Narayanswamy contributed to this report.