Situational awareness – July 2, 2018

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City. Thanks for starting your week with us.

Utahns don’t agree with Trump that the media is an “enemy of the people.” Utah is fending off one billion cyberattacks per day. Trump may meet with Kim Jong Un in NYC in September.


We asked you for your best captions for this picture of House Speaker Greg Hughes meeting with Gov. Gary Herbert at the Governor’s mansion. Below are some of the best entries.

Herbert Hughes

  • What is Greg Hughes thinking? Republicans know there is nothing worse than wearing a TAN SUIT! – Natalie Gordon
  • Greg: “And then I told Trump that he should just go ahead and meet with Kim Jong Un.” – Todd Weiler
  • “If Lee goes to SCOTUS, I’d make a great senator. Just sayin’.” – Mark Steele
  • “Welcome to my house, Governor.”
    “But this is the governor’s mansion?!”
    “I know.” – Brian Allen
  • Governor I thought you said Mitt would be here” – Todd Koury
  • “No one else was in the room where it happened, the room where it happened, the room where it happened…” – Samuel Dixon
  • “Governor, the Democrats are still fielding candidates for office this year. Should we try to convince them we still have a two-party system?” – Michael Davison
  • “Tell me about the rabbits, Guv.” – Erin Finney 


  • 127 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 210 days until the first day of the 2019 Utah Legislature (1/28/2019)
  • 855 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)


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Got a confidential news tip? You can reach me via encrypted, secure email at [email protected].


The role of the news media

A new survey finds most Utahns do not agree with President Trump’s assertion that the press is an “enemy of the people.” However, they do think the media is biased against conservatives –

Utah is rolling in cash

Utah’s tax revenue is up nearly 10% over last year, which is another sign the economy is booming –

Election hacking

Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox says Utah’s online systems have seen a dramatic increase in hacking attempts since Mitt Romney jumped into the race, peaking at one billion attacks per day –

Listen to the podcast of our entire conversation with Cox where he discusses his social media reaction to the family separations on the US-Mexico border, his political future, and election security. Also, he sings “Luck Be a Lady Tonight” –

Political protest, or rude behavior

Our “Political Insiders” weigh in on whether it was proper for a restaurant to kick out Sarah Huckabee Sanders over political differences –


  • Sen. Mike Lee says he’s discussed the Supreme Court opening with the White House [Associated Press].
  • Opponents of the ballot initiative to legalize medical cannabis ask for an emergency injunction to block the measure from November’s ballot [Tribune].
  • Elections officials update voting totals as mail-in ballots continue to roll in [Deseret News].
  • Utahns rally in Salt Lake City to protest the mistreatment of immigrants on the southern border [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Sen. Lee is proposing legislation to open up public lands for affordable housing [Deseret News].
  • Liberal billionaire Tom Steyer stopped in Salt Lake City on Friday to promote his effort to impeach President Trump [Tribune].


  • Breaking! President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer spoke with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Monday morning. He signaled he might be willing to work with special counsel Robert Mueller and federal prosecutors [Good Morning America].
  • President Trump personally ordered the drafting of a bill that would abandon World Trade Organization rules and allow him to raise tariffs at will without congressional consent [Axios].
  • The president may hold round two of talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in New York City in September [Axios].
  • Republican Sen. Susan Collins says she would not vote for a Supreme Court nominee who would overturn Roe v. Wade [New York Times].
  • President Donald Trump predicts a “vicious” fight over the Supreme Court vacancy [ABC News].
  • If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, as many as 17 states would effectively ban abortion almost immediately [Los Angeles Times].
  • National security adviser John Bolton says North Korea could give up their nuclear arsenal in a year [New York Times]. However, it looks like North Korea has no intention of doing so, despite promises they would denuclearize [Washington Post].
  • Democrats appear to be embracing abolishing ICE as a campaign issue [The Hill].
  • The White House is reviewing how a comedian was able to pose as a U.S. Senator and speak with President Trump via telephone while he was on Air Force One [ABC News].
  • Leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was elected president of Mexico in a landslide on Sunday [New York Times].
  • LeBron James inked a 4-year $154 million deal to play for the Los Angeles Lakers [New York Times].


  • 1776 – The Continental Congress adopts a resolution severing ties with Great Britain although the wording of the formal Declaration of Independence is not published until July 4.
  • 1788 – It was announced in Congress that the new Constitution had been ratified by the required nine states, the ninth being New Hampshire.
  • 1881 – Charles Guiteau shoots and fatally wounds President James Garfield (who would die of complications from his wounds on September 19).
  • 1890 – Congress passes the Sherman Antitrust Act.
  • 1937 – Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan are last heard from over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to make the first equatorial round-the-world flight.
  • 1964 – President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • 1976 – North and South Vietnam reunited, forming the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and naming Hanoi the capital.
  • 2002 – Steve Fossett becomes the first person to fly solo around the world nonstop in a balloon.