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Pro-Trump fundraising group refuses to give back $500,000 contribution from Steve Wynn

  • A pro-Trump political action committee refuses to return a hefty contribution from Steve Wynn, the former casino magnate who has been accused of sexual misconduct.
  • Wynn gave $500,000 to America First Action Super PAC on Jan. 23, just days before the first reports of his alleged harassment were published, according to first-quarter financial data.
  • "We're not returning the donation," a spokeswoman for America First tells CNBC.
Donald Trump (L) and Steve Wynn talk before the start of Game 7 of the NLCS playoff baseball series in New York in this October 19, 2006 file photograph.
Andrew Gombert | Reuters
Donald Trump (L) and Steve Wynn talk before the start of Game 7 of the NLCS playoff baseball series in New York in this October 19, 2006 file photograph.

A pro-Trump political action committee is refusing to return a hefty contribution from Steve Wynn, the former casino magnate who has been accused of sexual misconduct, CNBC has learned.

Wynn gave $500,000 to America First Action Super PAC on Jan. 23, just days before the first reports of his alleged harassment of women were published, according to first-quarter financial data from the Federal Election Commission. CNBC asked the group whether it has any intention of returning the contribution following the stories of Wynn's alleged misconduct.

"We're not returning the donation," a spokeswoman for America First said.

CNBC then asked the spokeswoman whether the group plans to accept future donations from Wynn.

"Why do you ask? Did he offer?" she wrote back in an email, suggesting that America First would be willing to keep its financial coffers open for potential Wynn contributions. The group's spokeswoman did not immediately respond to requests for clarification.

A spokesman for Wynn did not return requests for comment.

America First's refusal to return Wynn's donation is in line with the Republican National Committee's decision to not refund Wynn contributions. This response to Wynn's alleged misdeeds provides a stark contrast to the Democrats' reaction to sexual harassment and misconduct allegations against movie mogul and prominent Democratic booster Harvey Weinstein.

Some Republican officials and GOP groups, including the Republican Governors Association, did return Wynn contributions or donated them to charities.

Wynn gave more than $200,000 to the RNC while he was its finance chairman, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

He resigned as RNC finance chair and as CEO of Wynn Resorts in February. Multiple former employees of Wynn Resorts accused him of sexual harassment. Wynn has denied the allegations.

There are numerous ongoing investigations into Wynn's alleged conduct, including from within his former company, the Nevada gaming commission and the Massachusetts gaming commission.

RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel has said in interviews that if those investigations lead to proof of any wrongdoing, the group will return the contributions they received from Wynn.

"Within 24 hours, I had accepted Steve's resignation as finance chair," McDaniel said in an interview on the Frank Beckmann radio show in February. "The allegations are deeply, deeply concerning. There is going to be an investigation, three investigations. And we should let those play out and see what happens and allow that due process."

Representatives for the RNC and Wynn Resorts did not return requests for comment.

After the Weinstein scandal broke, Republicans loudly called for Democrats to disavow the Hollywood player and return his donations.

The Democratic National Committee, for instance, received $300,000 from Weinstein over the years. After the reports of Weinstein's alleged misconduct emerged, the group gave $30,000 of that total to three Democratic-aligned women's political groups — Emily's List, which supports candidates that support abortion rights; Emerge America, which recruits and trains Democratic women to run for office; and Higher Heights, which supports black women running for office.

Weinstein was also a big supporter of Hillary Clinton, whom Donald Trump defeated in the 2016 election. Clinton has said she plans to give Weinstein's contributions to charity. The movie producer contributed more than $20,000 to Clinton's campaigns since she ran for U.S. Senate in New York in 1999, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The Democratic Congressional Committee, likewise, gave up its Weinstein contributions to Futures Without Violence, a nonprofit advocacy group with a goal of ending domestic and sexual violence.

— Graphics by CNBC's John Schoen