Exclusive: Casino Mogul Steve Wynn to Be RNC Finance Chair

Trump to tap former Vegas rival turned trusted ally to lead GOP money effort into 2018

by Jim Stinson | Updated 30 Jan 2017 at 1:42 PM

The Republican National Committee is poised to name President Donald Trump’s former rival as the next finance chair for the party.

Billionaire casino mogul Steve Wynn was selected to lead the GOP fundraising operation into the 2018 midterm election at a meeting of RNC officials over the weekend, sources with knowledge of the meeting told LifeZette.

Wynn’s selection to lead the RNC’s finance operation is another testament to the new president’s ability to put old grudges to rest.

Identifying priority 2018 midterm contests and discussing candidate recruitment were also on the agenda for the meeting of party officials, according to the sources.

Wynn is a loyal Trump partisan and friend, booting designer Tom Ford’s products from his casinos after Ford made disrespectful comments about first lady Melania Trump.

The casino mogul served as finance vice chairman of Trump’s inaugural committee. The committee, which also included casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, raised more than $90 million.

The choice of Wynn to helm Republican fundraising efforts at the behest of the Trump administration is made more remarkable by the decades of tense history between the two men.

In 1996, Wynn called Trump "all hat and not cattle." Trump, in turn, called Wynn "an underachiever."

The two men, at the time rival casino magnates, fought each other in a nasty 1999 lawsuit. They later settled.

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But the two men went on to become close friends. Wynn's selection to lead the RNC's finance operation is another testament to the new president's ability to put old grudges to rest.

Wynn, 75, was a tireless worker in Las Vegas, working his way up through casino after casino. In 1998, he built the five-star Bellagio, perhaps the most famous hotel on the Vegas Strip.

Today, he owns the Encore, another five-star Vegas resort. Wynn is known for his love of art.

Spokesmen for Wynn, the RNC, and the Trump administration did not respond to requests for comment by the time of publication.

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