Morning must reads for Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 137th day of the year. There are 228 days remaining in 2017. Today is the 118th day of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Trump tried to shut down FBI the investigation into Michael Flynn. Chaffetz jumps into the middle of the latest Trump controversy. Utah may have to slow down on planned road construction.

The clock:

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 1,266 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • Former State Representative Derek Brown said several state and federal elected officials urged him to run for Utah GOP Chair. They wanted Brown to help them “hit the reset button” on the turmoil that has engulfed the party lately [Utah Policy].
  • Utah lawmakers may have to slow down the pace of planned road projects in order to avoid taking on too much debt, which could hurt Utah’s triple-A bond rating [Utah Policy].
  • Bryan Schott and Rep. Mike Winder chew over the firing of FBI director James Comey in this week’s “Beg to Differ” podcast [Utah Policy].
  • President Donald Trump asked then-FBI Director James Comey to shut down the investigation into former national security advisor Michael Flynn according to a memo Comey wrote shortly after the meeting. “I hope you can let this go,” the president told Mr. Comey according to the memo [New York Times].
  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz has demanded that the FBI turn over all “memoranda, notes, summaries and recordings between President Donald Trump and former FBI Director James Comey [Utah Policy, Deseret News, Tribune]. Here’s Chaffetz’s letter [House Oversight Committee].

  • Republicans in Congress may be reaching their breaking point with Trump following the latest scandals that are rocking the White House [Politico, The Hill].
  • A day after denying Trump shared highly sensitive information with the Russians, the White House changed their tune and said it was “wholly appropriate” for Trump to share that intelligence [Los Angeles Times].
  • The information Trump gave to the Russians has likely endangered the life of a spy placed inside ISIS by Israel [ABC News].
  • This is an incredible report. Trump’s White House is in total meltdown mode amid the latest scandals engulfing the president [New York Times].
  • Woah! Sen. John McCain said Trump’s various scandals had reached a “Watergate size and scale” [Daily Beast].
  • Woah #2! The Wall Street Journal editorial board, hardly a bastion of liberalism, says President Donald Trump has lost all credibility as his Presidency begins to sink [Wall Street Journal].
  • The turmoil engulfing the White House is endangering the GOP’s legislative agenda. In fact, many on Wall Street are giving up hope that overhauling the tax code will happen this year [Politico].
  • Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says President Trump should “close down the White House press briefing room” because he sees the media as “a danger to the country” [Politico].
  • Taking a page from Sen. Mike Lee, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Donald Trump should pick Merrick Garland to lead the FBI. There is exactly zero chance Garland would accept the job [Politico]. 

On this day in history:

  • 1792 – The New York Stock Exchange was founded by brokers meeting under a tree on what is now Wall Street.
  • 1946 – President Harry S. Truman seized control of the nation’s railroads, delaying a threatened strike by engineers and trainmen.
  • 1954 – The Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that racially segregated public schools were inherently unequal.
  • 1973 – The Senate began hearings into the Watergate scandal.