Former Wynn Resorts CEO Steve Wynn was on the tarmac at the Las Vegas Airport this weekend, waiting to receive the president of the United States when Air Force One touched down and Donald Trump emerged, as Mother Jones reports. Wynn and Trump share a rich history, acting as perennial rivals in the business of real estate, and casinos in particular. Trump’s Las Vegas hotel sits directly across the Las Vegas strip from Wynn’s casino, and the two have both playfully and not-so-playfully taken shots at one another in various public forums going back decades.
The two men were competitive in the casino business of Atlantic City, New Jersey, continuing their ongoing rivalry even as Trump found himself bankrupting multiple East Coast casinos. Nonetheless, the two friendly rivals found themselves working together as time went on, with Wynn assuming a prestigious role in fundraising for Trump’s presidential campaign and ultimately finding himself acting as the finance chair for the Republican National Committee.
In more recent years, however, the two men have each found themselves unwittingly in the spotlight due to their own respective allegations of sexual assault. While Trump seems to have carried on effectively unscathed as a result, Wynn was not so lucky.
He eventually resigned from his company in February of 2008 following numerous allegations of sexual impropriety, including that he forced employees to have sex with him, exposed himself to subordinates, and made unwanted sexual advances.
Although Wynn has continued to deny all of the allegations, he did resign from his position as Wynn Resorts CEO and left the job at the RNC, all while his former company faced a fine of $20 million from the Nevada Gaming Commission for how they handled the misconduct.
Democratic opponents of Trump and the Republican Party in general have applied pressure to the RNC to return the millions in contributions Wynn has given them. They point out that after news broke regarding the criminal misbehavior of similarly-disgraced Democratic donor Harvey Weinstein, many Democrat candidates returned donations given by Weinstein.
The RNC, on the other hand, has not elected to take or encourage any similar action in response to the Wynn allegations.
When current Wynn Resorts CEO Matthew Maddox took over following Wynn’s departure, he described an environment where victims were left without voice or recourse.
“I 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. Or if they did, it would not be investigated,” Maddox said. “For that, I am truly sorry.”