Situational awareness – July 16, 2018

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City. 

President Trump meets with Vladimir Putin. Love and McAdams are essentially tied in the campaign cash race. Germany says Europe can no longer rely on the Trump White House.


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


Thanks for reading Utah’s must-read daily political news roundup. If you would like to subscribe to our morning newsletter, you can SIGN UP HERE.

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


Kavanaugh cruising

Our “Political Insiders” expect Brett Kavanaugh to be confirmed to the Supreme Court prior to the 2018 midterm elections –

Love and McAdams running neck and neck in campaign cash

The latest FEC disclosures show Rep. Mia Love and her Democratic opponent, Ben McAdams, have nearly the same amount of campaign money in the bank, but Love has spent a lot more –

Lee says Trump’s meeting with Putin could be “productive”

Sen. Mike Lee says Democrats calling for President Donald Trump to skip his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin are wrong. He also says special counsel Robert Mueller should wrap up his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election –


  • The March for Our Lives anti-gun violence activists visit Utah and call for a ban to bump stocks and stricter background checks for gun purchases [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • 53 governmental entities are proposing tax hikes this year. Many of the hikes are likely because truth in taxation laws prevented such increases in the past [Tribune].
  • Utah gun rights activist Janalee Tobias says she was a victim of Sasha Baron Cohen’s new television series [Deseret News].
  • Utah students who opt out of standardized testing will be counted as “failing” [Tribune].
  • Rep. Rob Bishop says the Endangered Species Act is the “most inept program” in the federal government and is advocating for reforms [KSL].
  • The Utah Education Association has canceled their annual fall convention [KSL].


  • President Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday morning, despite calls from Democrats to cancel the meeting over Russia’s interference in the 2016 election –

  • What Trump and Putin hope to accomplish during their meeting in Finland –

  • President Trump spent part of Monday morning blaming his predecessor, Barack Obama, for the sour relationship between Russia and the U.S. –
  • Following President Trump’s attacks on NATO and the European Union, Germany’s foreign minister says Europe can no longer rely on the Trump administration –
  • The White House will hold direct talks with the Taliban in an effort to end the 17-year war in Afghanistan –
  • Democrats in California endorsed liberal state lawmaker Kevin de Leon for Senate over 26-year incumbent Sen. Dianne Feinstein –

  • Voters in the Midwest, which mostly went for Donald Trump in the 2016 election, seem to be swinging away from the GOP ahead of the 2018 midterms –

  • President Trump’s campaign has already spent $1.2 million on legal fees so far this year –

  • Jared Kushner’s real estate firm has been hit with a lawsuit alleging they waged a campaign to push residents out of rent-stabilized apartments –

  • Speaker Paul Ryan says woodchucks chewed the wiring out of his SUV, destroying the vehicle –


  • 1790 – The District of Colombia is established as the capital of the United States after signature of the Residence Act.
  • 1861 – American Civil War: At the order of President Abraham Lincoln, Union troops begin a 25-mile march into Virginia for what will become the First Battle of Bull Run.
  • 1935 – The world’s first parking meter is installed in Oklahoma City.
  • 1941 – Joe DiMaggio hits safely for the 56th consecutive game, a streak that still stands as an MLB record.
  • 1945 – The Atomic Age begins when the United States successfully detonates a plutonium-based test nuclear weapon near Alamogordo, New Mexico.
  • 1951 – J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye was published.
  • 1969 – Apollo 11, the first mission to land astronauts on the moon, is launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.