Sexual harassment claims RNC finance chair Steve Wynn; Clinton defends retaining accused staffer

UPDATE — 2/6, 10:56 p.m. EST: Wynn Resorts Ltd. founder and CEO, Steve Wynn, resigned from the company late Tuesday following weeks of speculation after a media report accused the casino mogul of engaging in unwanted sexual acts with employees.

According to sources, Wynn decided to step down without pressure from the company’s board of directors which accepted his resignation “reluctantly”. 

President Matt Maddox will assume the role as Wynn Resorts’ chief executive officer effective immediately. 

 

The vortex of sexual harassment claims consuming Hollywood and Washington pierced the political domain further over the past two days, with accusations which led to the resignation of the GOP’s finance chair and embroiled former Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton in another controversy.

On Saturday, amid the charge he forced an employee to engage in sex with him, Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn resigned as the finance chairman of the Republican National Committee.

“Today I accepted Steve Wynn’s resignation as Republican National Committee finance chair,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel said in a statement.

In a story first appearing in The Wall Street Journal, a former employee of Wynn’s Wynn Resorts reported the incident and a $7.5 million settlement was later paid to the claimant.  The Journal is reporting this was no isolated incident, but a pattern of behavior exhibited by Wynn over decades.

Wynn, a friend and business competitor of Donald Trump, was named RNC finance chair by Trump shortly after his presidential inauguration.  In the midst of a bitter court battle over control of his business with his ex-wife, Wynn dismissed the charges as “preposterous.”

The Las Vegas executive donated nearly a three-quarters of a million dollars to Trump’s inauguration fund, more than $1.2 million to the National Republican Senatorial Committee and RNC combined, over $2.5 million to the Republican Governors Association in the past six years, along with smaller contributions to Democratic candidates.

Wynn’s forced exit from the RNC arrives at the moment in which a report originally published in The New York Times Friday reveals a faith-based outreach director employed with Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign sexually harassed a fellow female staffer.

According to the Times, Clinton protected the accused adviser, Burns Strider, and allowed him to continue working after the unnamed female staffer reported Strider “rubbed her shoulders inappropriately, kissed her on the forehead, and sent her a string of suggestive emails.”

Preferring to retain Burns over the objections of her campaign manager, Clinton docked Burns’ pay and ordered him into counseling.  The female staffer was shuffled to a new position.

Following the former first lady’s 2008 presidential bid, Burns joined pro-Clinton group, Correct the Record, from which he was fired for sexual harassment in 2016.

Despite The Times reporting Clinton was aware of the accusation, Clinton tweeted a response to the emerging controversy late Friday, along with a cryptic video message:

 

Editor’s note: This article has been updated and corrected since its original publication.

 

[The Hill] [Politico] [New York Times] [Bloomberg] [Photo courtesy Global Look Press/Reuters via RT]