Morning must reads for Friday, June 16, 2017

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 167th day of the year. There are 198 days remaining in 2017. Today is the 147th day of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Utah Democrats and Republicans gather Saturday to pick their nominees in Utah’s 3rd CD. Jared Kushner is reportedly under investigation for his financial dealings. Trump picks an event planner to head up a federal housing program in New York. 

The clock:

  • The Utah Republican 3rd District nominating convention at Timpview High School is tomorrow (6/17/2017).

  • The Utah Democratic State Convention at Weber State University is tomorrow (6/17/2017)

  • 60 days until the 2017 Utah primary election (8/15/2017)

  • 144 days until the 2017 election (11/7/2017)

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

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

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

  • 1,237 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • Understand what happened this week in Utah politics and why with our week-in-review. You won’t be sorry [Utah Policy].
  • Bob Bernick says the potential three-way GOP primary race in Utah’s 3rd Congressional District is almost unprecedented in Utah politics [Utah Policy].
  • Once thought to be a frontrunner to head up the Federal Trade Commission under President Trump, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes is now reportedly out of the running [Utah Policy].
  • Utah Republicans and Democrats are set to select their nominees in the race to replace Rep. Jason Chaffetz on Saturday [Deseret News, Daily Herald].
  • Seems fishy. Kari Cutler, who fills a number of roles in South Salt Lake government, steps down as the head of Mayor Cherie Wood‘s political arm after questions arise about whether public funds were being used for campaign purposes [Tribune].
  • Utah’s credit rating remains high as the state is ready to start borrowing money for construction and transit projects [Tribune].
  • A Utah Muslim leader, Imam Yussuf Abdi, is stranded in Kenya after U.S. airline workers told him he’s been blocked from returning to the country [Utah Policy, Deseret News]. 
  • The Utah State Board of Regents has selected a 24-member committee to head up the search for a new president of the University of Utah [Deseret News].
  • State Medicaid officials are being asked to provide more funding for organizations so that they can keep employees from leaving to take higher-paying jobs elsewhere [Deseret News].
  • The University of Utah is taking steps to increase student safety on campus, including mandatory sexual assault awareness training [Tribune].

National headlines:

  • President Donald Trump has tapped Lynne Patton, who planned Eric Trump‘s wedding and other events for the Trump family, to oversee federal housing programs in New York. Patton has zero housing experience and claims she earned a law degree from Quinnipiac University, but the school says she dropped out after two semesters [New York Daily News].
  • Bombshell! Special counsel Robert Muller is investigating the financial dealings of President Donald Trump‘s son-in-law Jared Kushner [Washington Post].
  • President Donald Trump gets loose on Twitter again, calling the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election the “single greatest witch hunt in American political history.” Trump also returned to attacking one of his favorite targets, Hillary Clinton [New York Times].
  • President Trump’s aides worry his near non-stop complaining about the probe into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election may be making things worse for him [Politico].
  • Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein issued a statement warning against taking reports at face value that quote anonymous administration officials [Politico].
  • Officials for Trump’s transition team have bene ordered to save any records relating to the Russia investigation [Politico].
  • Vice President Mike Pence has hired an outside lawyer to help him deal with the special counsel investigation into Russia [Washington Post].
  • This is hardly shocking. Senate leaders say they’re probably going to miss their self-imposed deadline to vote on an Obamacare repeal measure by the end of the month [Politico].
  • President Donald Trump is set to announce new restrictions on Cuba Friday [The Hill].
  • Remember Evan McMullin? He’s been “locked in a near-daily battle with Trump and his supporters” since his Quixotic presidential bid in 2016 [The Atlantic].
  • The U.S. is about to send 4,000 more troops to Afghanistan [Associated Press].
  • Russia claims it has killed the leader of the Islamic State group in an airstrike Friday morning [Associated Press].
  • House Majority Whip Steve Scalise remains in critical condition following this week’s attack by a gunman during a congressional baseball practice [Politico].

On this day in history:

  • 1858 – Accepting the Illinois Republican Party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate, Abraham Lincoln said the slavery issue had to be resolved, declaring, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
  • 1897 – The United States signed a treaty of annexation with Hawaii.
  • 1963 – The Soviet Union launched the first female space traveler, Valentina Tereshkova, into orbit aboard Vostok 6.
  • 1987 – A jury in New York acquitted Bernhard Goetz of attempted murder in the subway shooting of four young blacks he said were going to rob him; he was convicted of illegal weapons possession.
  • 2011 – Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., announced his resignation from Congress, bowing to the furor caused by his sexually charged online dalliances with a former porn actress and other women.