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updated: 1/29/2018 10:57 AM

Ohio's Portman returns money from ex-RNC finance chairman

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Ohio Sen. Rob Portman has donated money he received from Steve Wynn, the Las Vegas billionaire accused of sexual misconduct, to charities aimed at stemming human sex-trafficking, his office said Monday.

Wynn resigned Saturday as the Republican National Committee's finance chairman after a Wall Street Journal report on allegations of sexual harassment made by several women.

Portman is among dozens of mainly Republican lawmakers, candidates and party organizations the casino mogul has contributed to in recent years, though he has also previously backed Democrats. Wynn contributed $5,400 to Portman's 2016 Senate campaign, the same amount the second-term senator is giving to Ohio charities, spokeswoman Emily Benevides said.

"He donated the money to a number of charities across Ohio that he's worked closely with in his efforts to combat human trafficking," Benavides said in the statement.

Wynn had contributed $10,800 last year to home-state Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, who is seeking re-election this year.

In addition to Portman, Wynn contributed $5,400 to the 2016 campaigns of Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Marco Rubio of Florida and Tim Scott of South Carolina. That year, Wynn also contributed $167,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina have urged Republicans who have received money from Wynn to return them.

RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel informed members Saturday she had accepted Wynn's resignation. The committee is scheduled to convene in Washington this week for its annual winter meeting.

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