America First Action, a Super PAC supporting the reelection efforts of President Donald Trump, says it won’t be returning a $500,000 donation made by disgraced former casino owner Steve Wynn.
Finance records from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) show that the political action committee received the half of a million dollars on January 23, 2018. Three days later on January 26, The Wall Street Journal published a career-ending expose with accounts of alleged sexual misconduct by the 76-year-old during a period spanning several decades.
Wynn, one of the Republican Party’s most steadfast financial supporters, resigned from the company he founded in February. He continues to deny the numerous accounts made by Wynn Resort female employees that he routinely harassed them and forced several into performing sexual acts.
The scandal also led to Wynn resigning as finance chairman of the Republic National Committee.
In light of the Steve Wynn allegations, several Republican-affiliated super committees said they would consider returning the money should the claims be proven. But America First Action says it’s keeping the cash regardless.
“We are not returning the donation,” America First Action spokeswoman Erin Montgomery told The Washington Post.
America First Action is the official super PAC of the president. The group says on its website that it’s focused on “fighting the media, Democrats, and the special interests who thrive off the swamp.”
The FEC shows that America First has received more than $8.725 million over the last year. Station Casinos owners Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta account for $2 million, as the brothers each gave $1 million to the PAC on March 13, 2018.
Donald Trump Jr. gave $5,000 last fall.
Other political donations recently made by Steve Wynn include 17 contributions to the RNC totaling over $220,000. The largest was a $101,700 check he wrote in December.
Wynn gave the RNC $83,400 between January 1, 2015, and December 31, 2016.
Casino, Billionaires, and Politics
Several casino owners supported Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election. The most notable were Wynn, along with fellow Las Vegas billionaires Sheldon Adelson, the Fertittas, and Phil Ruffin.
Adelson led the way by donating tens of millions of dollars to pro-GOP groups. Though he was thought to prefer Florida Senator Marco Rubio for the Republican ticket, the Las Vegas Sands founder and CEO flushed Trump’s super PAC Future 45 with $25 million in the week before the November 8 election.
In total, Adelson gave Future 45 a combined $35 million. During the 2012 election, he gave Mitt Romney PACs over $93 million. He and his wife Miriam spent $82.5 million in the 2016 cycle.
Wynn initially didn’t support Trump either. The casino boss said Trump’s brazen rhetoric regarding China was reason for his hesitation.
“I’m in business in China. I have great respect for the government there, and I have 20,000 employees,” Wynn said in March of 2017. “I wanted to stay out of the line of fire until the People’s Republic of China discussion was more focused.”
Wynn gave just $600,000 to Trump’s Future 45 committee, but did pay nearly $730,000 to help cover the president’s January inauguration.