politics

Republicans Call on Party to Return Wynn Funds After Allegations

  • RNC’s finance chair stepped down after sex harrasment report
  • Collins says not not a close call to return unspent money
Steve Wynn denied allegations he sexually harassed numerous women work for him. Bloomberg’s Crayton Harrison reports.

Two Republican senators called on their party to return funds received from billionaire Steve Wynn, who stepped down Saturday as Republican National Committee finance chairman amid allegations of sexual harassment.

Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said Republicans who took money from the founder of Wynn Resorts Ltd. should return it.

The casino magnate’s departure from his RNC role followed a Wall Street Journal story on Friday detailing harassment allegations from several women. They include details that Wynn paid $7.5 million to settle claims brought by a former manicurist at his Las Vegas resort, who said he pressured her to have sex with him, the newspaper said.

“The allegations against him are very serious,” Collins said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” program. If Republicans have accepted contributions recently from him that haven’t been spent, “absolutely” they should return them, she said. “I don’t even think it’s a close call to return the money.

Graham said on ABC’s “This Week” that “we should do of ourselves what we ask of the Democratic Party, if these allegations have merit. So I don’t think we should have a double-standard for ourselves.”

Republicans have criticized Democrats for accepting money from the movie producer Harvey Weinstein, a prolific fundraiser for the party. In response to the allegations of sexual misconduct against Weinstein, the RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel tweeted in October that “returning his money should be a no-brainer.”

McDaniel issued a one-sentence statement Saturday acknowledging Wynn’s resignation that didn’t reference the harassment allegations.

— With assistance by Bill Allison, and John McCormick

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