In the Trump administration, the buck stops with Obama. Zinke tours Grand Staircase. Chaffetz asks the Justice Department inspector general to probe Comey firing.
Happy Thursday. Who is to blame for problems in Donald Trump’s administration? Barack Obama. The Trump White House has blamed its predecessor for widespread protests, wiretapped phones, poor economic numbers, outsourced jobs, gangs proliferating across the United States and problems in the Middle East — among other issues. [Politico]
Topping the news: Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke toured Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument on Wednesday to inform his pending recommendation to President Donald Trump on how best to preserve the land moving forward. "This is the first time in a monument that we’ve given the public a say," he said. [Trib]
-> A handful of state lawmakers rescued a dog while on a tour of Bears Ears National Monument. [FOX13]
-> Rep. Jason Chaffetz asked the Justice Department’s inspector general to investigate Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, while other members of the Utah delegation supported the move. [Trib] [DNews] [ABC4] [FOX13]
Tweets of the day: From @jeremynewberger: "Only way to make that footage of students booing Betsy DeVos better would be if the sorting hat hopped on her head and shouted Slytherin."
-> From @jacobsw: "Motion to replace ‘-gate’ with ‘a-lago’ as the suffix for all future scandals."
-> From @franklinleonard: "Gonna teach my nieces to respond to their parents’ questions with some version of ‘I’m going to have to refer you to the Justice Department’"
-> From @HeimishCon: "Trump needs to rehire Comey just to see everyone switch sides again."
In other news: Utah is challenging the Bureau of Land Management’s decision to authorize a motorized trail network on the rim of Recapture Canyon while barring ATVs from the canyon floor. [Trib]
-> SLC Mayor Jackie Biskupski’s office denied a request to release recordings of closed-door City Council meetings for the selection of new homeless shelter sites. [Trib]
-> The Road Home shelter in Salt Lake City is working to relocate all families housed there before July 15. [DNews]
-> Records show that a Davis County jail nurse failed to do routine medical checks on an inmate with a fatal internal injury. [Trib]
-> Utah Transit Authority is making major changes to its current fare system and hopes to involve the public in its decisions. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley imagines the United States as a subsidiary to Kremlin Inc. [Trib]
-> Robert Gehrke argues that Utah’s congressional delegation ought to acknowledge that the FBI can no longer conduct an impartial investigation of the Trump administration’s ties to Russia. [Trib]
Nationally: The Senate Intelligence Committee subpoenaed records of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn in its investigation of Russia’s interference in the U.S. presidential election. [NYTimes] [WaPost] [Politico]
-> Before he was fired, former FBI Director James Comey had asked for more resources to devote to exploring possible connections between President Donald Trump’s staff and Russia. [NYTimes] [WaPost] [Politico]
Where are they?
- Rep. Mia Love speaks at a veterans honor flight gathering, discusses legislative priorities with her district office staff and meets with constituents.
- Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox listens in on an Emergency Management Administrative Council meeting and participates in a Department of Workforce Services annual leadership conference.
- State Auditor John Dougall meets with staff from the attorney general’s office and attends the Grand County Republican Party convention.
-- Thomas Burr, Courtney Tanner and Emily Anderson