Hillary Clinton says she ‘would be your president’ if not for FBI letter, Russian hacking. Utah public lands official testifies to Congress that national monuments damage state economy. Hatch defends filibuster as Trump pushes for Senate rules change.
Happy Wednesday. While she took responsibility for her stunning loss, Hillary Clinton also pointed to several factors she believes led to her defeat in the 2016 presidential election: misogyny, an ill-timed letter from FBI Director James Comey and Russian interference. "If the election had been on Oct. 27, I would be your president," she said at a Women For Women International event Wednesday. President Donald Trump later responded on Twitter to Clinton’s remarks, saying Comey was "the best thing that ever happened" to her. He ended his string of messages with a question: "Perhaps Trump just ran a great campaign?" [WaPost]
Topping the news: The head of Utah’s public lands office testified before Congress on Tuesday that the designation of national monuments has had significant negative impacts on the state’s economy, traditional uses of the lands and on the lives of people who live in the surrounding areas. [Trib] [DNews]
-> Meanwhile, the San Juan County Commission spoke with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and his staff in a closed-door meeting, where they advocated rescinding Bears Ears National Monument. [Trib] [DNews]
-> New legislation from Sen. Orrin Hatch looks to strengthen protections for religious minorities through an expansion of criminal law. [DNews]
-> Hatch critiqued President Donald Trump’s push for Republicans to change the Senate’s rules for blocking legislation in order to push the health care bill through, saying the United States "would have gone straight to socialism" without the filibuster. [ABC4]
Tweet of the day: From @danielnasaw: "President Andrew Jackson, who died 172 years before the GOP fracture over AHCA, saw it coming and was angry. Would never have let it happen!"
-> Though state Rep. Robert Spendlove says the Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act will give states more control, a local advocate from the Utah Health Policy Project says Utahns would lose under the new bill. [ABC4]
-> New records from Weber County show its investigators were alarmed that Davis County jail staff may have cleaned up possible evidence after an inmate fell and later died from her injuries. [Trib]
-> An effort from Salt Lake County leaders to open up 300 beds in the county jail by outsourcing inmates to other facilities will now move forward with $705,000 allocated by the County Council. [Trib] [DNews]
-> The Utah Legislature’s Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee plans to ask administrators at the U. for more information about its relationship with the Huntsman Cancer Institute to make sure state money is appropriately accounted for. [DNews]
-> Officials say Utah’s snowpack in the highest elevations is 200 percent more than average and warming temperatures will fill rivers and streams. [Fox13]
-> Though Utah’s reservoirs will likely be full this year, officials from Utah’s Division of Water Resources say they will still be hitting the water conservation message hard with the division’s "Slow the Flow" campaign. [Fox13]
-> Utah County lawmakers are looking to tweak a law enacted in the 1950s in order to bring more outhouses to recreational sites. [Fox13]
-> Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski presented her recommended budget for the 2017–2018 fiscal year before the City Council. Her proposal looks to boost funding for homelessness and affordable housing. [Trib] [DNews] [ABC4] [KUTV]
-> The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints donated $1 million to the American Red Cross to "give hope to people when they need it the most." [Trib]
-> A new study from Brigham Young University researchers shows religious individuals are more likely to "misattribute" themselves as "addicts" after viewing pornography. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley portrays Rep. Jason Chaffetz as a hero on a scooter as the congressman heads to Washington to vote on a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. [Trib]
-> Robert Gehrke says calling a special legislative session to create a process for filling Chaffetz’s likely vacancy has some merit but is unnecessary at the end of the day. Instead, he argues, Herbert should let voters’ voices be heard in selecting their next member of Congress. [Trib]
Nationally: President Donald Trump spoke over telephone with Russian President Vladimir Putin for the first time since the United States launched a missile strike on Syria’s Moscow-backed military. [NYTimes] [CNN] [BBCNews] [TheGuardian]
-> Republican efforts to overhaul the Affordable Care Act continue to face an uphill battle as concerns grow over how the new legislation would affect people with pre-existing medical conditions. [WaPost] [NYTimes] [ABCNews] [NBCNews]
Where are they?
- Rep. Mia Love meets the Air Force chief of staff with members of Utah’s delegation, attends a meeting about land conservation and votes. Later, she meets with constituents from Utah’s food industry and high-tech businesses.
- Gov. Gary Herbert prepares for the Energy Development Summit, takes photos with lawmakers and attends the Utah System of Higher Education’s quarterly leadership meeting. Later, he participates in economic development meetings and the Energy Development Summit reception.
- State Auditor John Dougall meets separately with Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, a software vendor and officials in Piute County before attending the Piute County Republican Convention.
-- Courtney Tanner and Taylor Stevens