Morning must reads for Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 136th day of the year. There are 229 days remaining in 2017. Today is the 117th day of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Trump shared classified information with the Russians. Utahns don’t know who State Auditor John Dougall is. Clinton forms a new political organization.

The clock:

  • 4 days until the Utah Republican State Convention (5/20/2017)

  • 32 days until the Utah Democratic State Convention at Weber State University (6/17/2017)

  • 175 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)

  • 251 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)

  • 296 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)

  • 539 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)

  • 1,267 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • NEW POLL: Most Utahns say they have absolutely no idea who State Auditor John Dougall is [Utah Policy].
  • LaVarr Webb predicts Gov. Gary Herbert will get booed by Republican delegates at the Utah GOP convention on Saturday [Utah Policy].
  • Bombshell! President Donald Trump reportedly revealed highly classified information to Russian officials during an oval office meeting last week. The information was so classified that one official said the president revealed more to the Russians than U.S. intelligence agencies have told our allies [Washington Post, New York Times, Buzzfeed].
  • President Trump defended himself on Twitter Tuesday morning saying he has the “absolute right” to share whatever information he wants with Russia. The Tweet seems to confirm that he divulged classified information [The Hill, Washington Post].
  • Trump administration officials are playing word games with their denials that Trump shared this highly classified information with the Russians [Washington Post].
  • The White House is reportedly in chaos following the revelations that Trump leaked information to the Russians. There are reports of yelling behind closed doors. One senior aide said, “Do not ask me about how this looks, we all know how this looks” [Daily Beast, Politico].
  • Members of Congress are shocked and outraged about the news that Trump disclosed “codeword” classified information with the Russians [Washington Post, Huffington Post].
  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz says Trump’s sharing of intelligence with the Russians should be investigated, but not by his Oversight committee. Instead, he thinks the House Intelligence Committee is the better venue [Tribune, Deseret News].
  • A new poll shows most Americans, including an increasing number of Republicans, want an “independent investigation” into any connections between Russia and President Donald Trump [Reuters].
  • Irony alert! Here are nine times Trump was critical of others for mishandling classified information [Politico].
  • There’s evidence tying the massive ransomware attack that hit more than 150 countries to hackers in North Korea [New York Times].
  • Hillary Clinton has launched a new political group called “Onward Together” [New York Times].
  • The Supreme Court refuses to hear an appeal of a ruling that struck down North Carolina’s voter identification law. The lower court ruling said the law was designed to suppress minority voters [Politico].
  • The cloud hovering over the Trump administration’s possible entanglements with Russia could be holding up former Gov. Jon Huntsman‘s nomination to be ambassador to Russia [Tribune].
  • Utah lawmakers are already lining up possible legislation for the 2018 session, including measures tackling hate crimes and allowing terminally ill patients the right to end their own lives [Associated Press].
  • A state audit found an employee with the Division of Water Quality falsified travel receipts to the tune of more than $20,000 over 10 years [Utah Policy, Deseret News, Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • 1868 – The U.S. Senate failed by one vote to convict President Andrew Johnson as it took its first ballot on one of 11 articles of impeachment against him. (He was acquitted of all charges.)
  • 2001 – Former FBI agent Robert Hanssen was indicted on charges of spying for Moscow. (He later pleaded guilty to 15 counts of espionage and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.) 
  • 2005 – Newsweek magazine retracted a story that claimed investigators had found evidence the Quran was desecrated by interrogators at the U.S. naval prison at Guantanamo Bay. The story had sparked deadly protests in Afghanistan.