The chairwoman of the Republican National Committee said Tuesday that casino magnate and former RNC finance chair Steve Wynn deserves “due process” regarding a report of a pattern of sexual harassment before the RNC returns his donations.
The Wall Street Journal reported Friday on dozens of allegations of sexual harassment against Wynn, including that he pressured his employees to perform sex acts. He’s denied the allegations.
RNC Chair Ronna McDaniels on Tuesday contrasted Wynn’s denial to the responses of Harvey Weinstein and former Sen. Al Franken to sexual harassment allegations. They both denied some of the allegations made against them, but did not deny all of them outright. The RNC pressured the DNC to return cash from Weinstein, a major Democratic donor, when the allegations against him were first reported.
“The allegations in the Wall Street Journal were deeply troubling,” McDaniels told Fox News’ Sandra Smith Tuesday. “They were so troubling that within 24 hours Steve was no longer our finance chair.”
“But Steve has denied these allegations, unlike Harvey Weinstein and Al Franken and others, Steve has denied them,” she continued. “There is an investigation that’s going to take place. He should be allowed due process. And if he is found of any wrongdoing we will absolutely return 100 percent of that money. But we’re going to let due process take place.”
Smith tried again: “So fair to say there’s no plans right now to give those donations back?”
“We’re going to let the investigation take place,” McDaniels said. “We took the allegations seriously enough to remove him as finance chair and now we are moving forward.”
Wynn Resorts’ board of directors has formed a special committee to investigate the allegations. And the Massachusetts Gaming Commission said it’s reviewing the allegations in light of a Wynn Resorts casino project currently under construction in Everett.
The RNC did not respond to TPM’s inquiries Tuesday regarding what would lead to the party to return Wynn’s donations.
This post has been updated.