Trump Was Greeted at Las Vegas’s Airport by Disgraced Casino Owner Steve Wynn

Wynn has been accused of forcing or pressuring employees to have sex, but Republicans have largely stood by him.

AP Photo/Joe Cavaretta

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When President Donald Trump exited Air Force One at the start of his Saturday trip to Las Vegas, he was greeted on the tarmac by former casino executive Steve Wynn, a longtime business rival and friend who was a major fundraiser for the president during the 2016 campaign. Wynn has kept a low profile since resigning his post as CEO of Wynn Resorts in February 2018, after multiple accusations alleging sexual misconduct by Wynn with subordinates at the casino company. 

Wynn, who denies the allegations, also resigned from his post as the Republican National Committee’s finance chair last year. Despite Wynn’s denials, this past week, Massachusetts state gaming regulators released a scathing report finding that Wynn’s company had worked to cover up the allegations against Wynn. Speaking to Massachusetts regulators, the company’s new CEO testified that after taking over from Wynn, he “began to realize that there were many victims—and those victims felt powerless. For that, I am deeply remorseful. They felt that they didn’t have a voice. That if they were to speak up they could be retaliated against.”

Some of the allegations cataloged in the report included a $7.5 million settlement the company made with a manicurist who told her supervisor that Wynn had forced her to have sex and that she was pregnant with his child, that he exposed himself to employees, and made unwanted sexual advances. The company was fined $20 million by the Nevada Gaming Commission in February for its handling of the allegations against Wynn.

Since the allegations were made public, Wynn’s relationship with the Republican Party has been highlighted by Democrats, who note that despite his resignation from his fundraising post, the Republican National Committee has steadfastly refused to return any of the millions he’s given. Democrats have pointed out that RNC officials were quick to insist that Democrats return disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein’s donations—and many did—but have yet to fully separate themselves from Wynn. 

Trump’s Las Vegas hotel is directly across the strip from Wynn’s casino, and while the two have sparred in the past in recent years their relationship has been friendly, with Wynn taking a high-profile role in fundraising for Trump, and comparing the president to Abraham Lincoln. 

 

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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