Morning must reads for Thursday, April 6, 2017

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 96th day of the year. There are 269 days remaining in 2017.

Most Utahns don’t believe Trump’s wiretapping claims. The U.S. Senate is poised to confirm Neil Gorsuch by changing the rules. Trump set to meet with his Chinese counterpart in Florida.

The clock:

  • 44 days until the Utah Republican State Convention (5/20/2017)
  • 72 days until the Utah Democratic State Convention at Weber State University (6/17/2017)
  • 215 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 291 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 336 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 579 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,307 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR – 

  • NEW POLL: Most Utahns don’t buy President Donald Trump‘s claims that he was wiretapped by the Obama administration during the 2016 election [Utah Policy].
  • Former UTA board member and developer Terry Diehl has been indicted by federal prosecutors for his role in a real estate development around a commuter rail project [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Some Utah lawmakers are still working to reform the Utah Transit Authority even though federal prosecutors announced they would not prosecute the agency for ethical and other lapses [Tribune].
  • The U.S. Senate is poised to end the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees Thursday to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the high court [Wall Street Journal].
    • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the “nuclear option” to eliminate the filibuster on Supreme Court nominees will help the Senate, while Sen. John McCain says that supporters of the move are “stupid idiots” [Washington Post].
    • Republicans are also considering another change to their rules which would make it easier to confirm other Trump nominees [The Hill].
    • Donald Trump’s team is already making plans for his next Supreme Court nominee [Politico].
  • In a sit-down interview, President Donald Trump alleged former national security adviser Susan Rice committed a crime when she sought to learn the identities of Trump associates caught in surveillance of foreign officials. Trump cited no evidence for his claims about Rice [New York Times].
  • President Trump will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Florida Thursday [CNN].
  • House Republicans mull calling an emergency meeting on Thursday to keep their healthcare plan alive [Politico].
  • White House chief strategist Steve Bannon was removed from the National Security Council by President Trump [Washington Post].
    • Bannon’s ouster is just the latest in the battle for power between ideologues in the White House and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. Spoiler alert! Kushner keeps winning [Axios].
  • Democrats are raising tons of money with Donald Trump in the White House [Huffington Post].
  • Boring but important. Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff has raised more than $8 million for the special election to replace Republican Tom Price in Congress, who resigned to become Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary. That $8 million is a staggering amount of money for a special election which takes place on April 18 [Atlanta Journal Constitution].
  • Prosecutors say Utah’s new anti-bigamy law won’t bring a flood of new polygamy cases [Tribune].
  • Dams in northern Utah are struggling to hold back higher than normal spring runoff [Deseret News].

On this day in history:

  • 1830 – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was organized by Joseph Smith in Fayette, N.Y.
  • 1896 – The first modern Olympic Games opened in Athens, Greece.
  • 1909 – Explorers Robert E. Peary and Matthew A. Henson purportedly became the first men to reach the North Pole. (The exact location they reached has since been called into question.)
  • 1917 – Congress approved a declaration of war against Germany as the United States entered World War I.
  • 1983 – Interior Secretary James Watt banned the Beach Boys from the 4th of July celebration on the Washington Mall, saying rock ‘n’ roll bands attract the “wrong element.”