Situational awareness – July 20, 2018

Good morning from Salt Lake City and TGIF!

Trump invites Putin to Washington in the fall. Lawmakers look ahead to what’s next for the inland port. Trump threatens to dramatically step up the trade war with China.


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


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What a week!

An internecine brawl in Salt Lake City over the inland port and President Trump gets a dump truck full of criticism following his meeting with Vladimir Putin. Bryan Schott and Chris Jones from KUTV run down the week in Utah politics –

You can download a podcast version of our week in review if you prefer to listen on the go –

Biskupski between a rock and a hard place

Bob Bernick says Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski is in a tough spot as the inland port moves forward –


  • Provo City will pay $750,000 to settle harassment claims from five women against the city’s former police chief [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Critics of the inland port bill decry the lack of public input while lawmakers are looking to move forward with the project [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Despite lawmakers passing a $30 million tax break, the average taxpayer will see their tax bill go up about $96 next year [Deseret News].
  • Riverton is pulling out of the Unified Police Department in 12 months [Deseret News].


  • President Trump has invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to the White House in the fall –

  • Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats learned during an interview on live TV that Trump had invited Putin to Washington. His response? “Say that again? That’s going to be special.” –
  • Vladimir Putin says he made President Trump a new offer on Ukraine during their meeting on Monday –
  • It took a couple of days, but the White House finally said they were not likely to grant Russia’s request to question several Americans. The decision came after the Senate voted 98-0 for a nonbinding resolution condemning the request –
  • Republicans in Congress block an attempt by Democrats to subpoena Trump’s interpreter from his one-on-one meeting with Putin –
  • The Justice Department says they plan to alert the public to any attempts by foreign actors attempting to disrupt the 2018 midterm elections –
  • The Russians who hacked the DNC during the 2016 presidential campaign have targeted at least three 2018 candidates with “spearfishing” efforts –
  • Special counsel Robert Mueller reveals a list of 500 pieces of evidence he may use during the trial of Paul Manafort –
  • President Trump says he’s prepared to put tariffs on every single item imported from China as a way to dramatically escalate the trade war –

  • President Trump broke with tradition by criticizing the Federal Reserve for raising interest rates. The White House quickly released a statement affirming the independence of the Fed –
  • The Trump White House has set a record for staff turnover in the first two years of an administration –

  • The Trump administration is proposing significant changes to the Endangered Species Act –

  • The NFL is putting its plan to punish players who kneel during the national anthem on hold as they work with the player’s union to find a solution –


  • 1848 – The first Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York concludes.
  • 1903 – The Ford Motor Company ships its first automobile.
  • 1944 – Adolf Hitler survives an assassination attempt led by German Army Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg.
  • 1969 – Apollo 11’s crew successfully makes the first manned landing on the moon in the SEa of Tranquility.
  • 1973 – Bruce Lee, the famous Chinese actor and martial arts expert, dies in Los Angeles at age 32 from a brain edema.
  • 1976 – The American Viking 1 lander successfully lands on Mars.
  • 2015 – The United States and Cuba resume full diplomatic relations after five decades.