Political Cornflakes

News roundup: Inside the White House’s credibility gap

First Published      Last Updated May 17 2017 12:43 pm

Inside the White House’s credibility gap. Chaffetz says House Intel should probe Trump’s Russia conversation. Huntsman nomination still not yet formal.

Happy Tuesday. When the White House began pushing back on the story about what President Donald Trump told Russian officials, there was instant skepticism. After all, starting with the size of Trump’s inaugural crowd, senior administration officials have strained their credibility with the public with months of false, misleading or tortured statements. "Their credibility is completely shattered," says one long-time GOP aide. [Politico]

Topping the news: President Trump reportedly disclosed highly classified information to Russian officials during an Oval Office meeting last week. [WaPost] [NYTimes] [Politico] The president tweeted Tuesday morning that he shared "facts" with the Russians and he had the "absolute right" to do so. [WaPost]

-> Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said that the House Intelligence Committee should investigate Trump’s handling of that classified information. [Trib]

-> More than two months ago the Trump administration offered former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. the role as America’s ambassador to Russia, and he accepted. Huntsman’s nomination may be delayed because of controversy surrounding an FBI and Senate investigation into Russian interference with the presidential election. [Trib]

Tweets of the day: From @kumailn: "’But how can it be classified when I’m telling everyone I know?!?!!?!???’"

-> From @jeremynewberger: "H.R. McMaster: The story as reported is false. I was in room, it didn’t happen. Now let me quickly run into the White House for no reason."

-> From @chrislhayes: "Tomorrow we’re gonna find out Trump pulled out the nuclear football and pretended to put in the codes while Lavrov snapped photos on iPhone"

-> From @WindsorMann: "Retweeting Trump’s old tweets is the easiest way to refute him."

Happy Birthday: To our friend Jim Gonzales.

In other news: A Utah Department of Environmental Quality employee stole more than $140,000 through false claims for reimbursement according to a report by the state auditor. [Trib] [DNews] [KUER]

-> Marc Sessions Jenson, the businessman involved in a scandal with former Utah Attorneys General Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow, was released from parole about 18 months early. [Trib]

-> Although a recent global cyber attack didn’t affect Utah residents, the State Bureau of Investigation offered advice to Utahns in case they are victims of ransomware.  [Trib] [DNews] [ABC4]

-> Some Utahns are creating makeshift memorial gardens to draw the Utah delegation’s attention to their opposition of the American Health Care Act. [ABC4] [FOX13]

-> Among a handful of bills planned for the 2018 legislative session is a bill that would give heavier punishment to individuals convicted of a hate crime. [APviaTrib]

-> The Interior Department is calling for online public input on Bears Ears National Monument and 26 other large monuments, but many members of the Native American tribes that either proposed or support the monument don’t have access to the internet. [Trib]

-> A Dan Jones and Associates poll released Monday showed that SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams’ approval rating has dropped 10 points over the last year. [DNews]

-> Rep. Rob Bishop said that Hill Air Force Base will eventually house three squadrons of F-35 fighter jets. [DNews]

-> Last week Park City enacted a ban on plastic bags that goes into effect in late June. [Trib]

-> South Ogden City Council is considering rezoning Riverdale Road to allow strip clubs and adult stores. [Trib]

-> The near-capacity Salt Lake City Cemetery will hold a public review Wednesday to discuss the cemetery’s plans going forward. [Trib]

-> Paul Rolly recounts disagreements within the Utah County Republican Party about $5,000 that disappeared. [Trib]

Nationally: President Donald Trump will have to navigate diplomatic land-mines when he travels to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican. [WaPost]

-> The State Department said that it believes that the Syrian government is carrying out mass killings and burning the bodies in crematoriums outside of Damascus. [NYTimes] [WaPost] [Politico]

-> The Trump administration said it would expand a ban on aid for global health organizations that provide or discuss abortion in family planning. [NYTimes] [WaPost]

Where are they?

  • Rep. Mia Love returns to Washington to vote on legislation, meet with the Financial Services Committee and strategize with GOP members.
  • Gov. Gary Herbert holds an air quality media event at Ensign Elementary School, conducts 2nd District Court judicial interviews then meets with staff.
  • State Auditor John Dougall is a guest lecturer for AP Government and Politics classes at a local high school.
  • SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams attends a meeting with the Unified Fire Authority board, then speaks with Deputy Mayor Karen Hale and Ze Xiao, Director of the Office for New Americans. Later, he participates in a Transportation Governance and Funding Task Force meeting and a County Council hearing.

Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at cornflakes@sltrib.com. If you haven’t already, sign up for our weekday email and get this sent directly to your inbox. [Trib]

-- Thomas Burr and Emily Anderson

Twitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/emilyinorgandy