Trump says he’s ‘vindicated’ and calls Comey a ‘leaker.’ Gowdy elected to Chaffetz’s Oversight chairmanship. Utah GOP to hold 3rd District online debate.
Happy Friday. After a long, and unusual break on Twitter, President Donald Trump broke his public silence this morning on former FBI director James Comey’s testimony to Congress in the Russia probe, accusing him in a tweet of lying under oath and calling him a "leaker." [WaPost]
-> The Utah Republican Party is hosting a video debate between the GOP candidates for the 3rd Congressional district seat on its website. [Fox13]
Tweets of the day: From @thetomzone: "the predisent has the power to fire the fib detector. I mean FBI director"
-> From @tastefactory: "McCain: Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on ‘em. Comey: Ok"
-> From @fivefifths: "Wife: ‘Hey did you eat the fried rice leftovers? That was my lunch.’ Me: ‘I am declining to answer that question in an open setting.’"
-> From @scottdetrow: "Newsroom email: NPR style will be ‘lordy,’ not ‘lordie.’ (Apparently ‘lawdy’ not in consideration)"
Happy Birthday: On Friday to Committee on Energy and Commerce Member Services Coordinator Jessica Martinez and Utah Hospital Association Vice President for Government Relations and Legal Affairs Dave Gessel, on Sunday to former state Rep. Merlynn Newbold, Chris Bleak with the Utah Association of Public Charter Schools and Sen. Orrin Hatch’s Finance Committee Staff Director Chris Campbell.
Behind the Headlines: Tribune reporters Benjamin Wood and Matthew Piper, government and politics editor Dan Harrie and columnist Paul Rolly join KCPW’s Roger McDonough to talk about the week’s top stories, including the Utah Democratic Party and James Comey’s testimony. Listen at KCPW.org or tune in to KCPW 88.3 FM or Utah Public Radio for the broadcast from 9-10 a.m.
In other news: Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced Thursday the department will review protections for the sage grouse. [Trib]
-> A bipartisan group is reportedly working on a ballot initiative to create an independent commission that would advise the Legislature when it redraws district boundaries in 2020. [KUER]
-> Rob Miller withdrew from the race for Utah Democratic Party chairman, as well as the party itself, amid accusations of sexual harassment. [Trib] [DNews] [KUER] Miller said that the allegations against him were "a very well-planned-out conspiracy." [Trib]
-> Salt Lake County Recorder Gary Ott’s family is echoing accusations that the official’s staff is manipulating him to keep their positions. [DNews]
-> Salt Lake City is asking for public input on proposed changes to 2100 South, including reduced lanes and adding a center turn lane or bike lane. [Trib]
-> Meet the 20 candidates competing for seats on the Salt Lake City Council. [Trib]
-> Joe Darger, a polygamist candidate in the Herriman mayoral race, wants to bring religious freedom and inclusion to the city. [Trib]
-> Read the long list of candidates running in Salt Lake County municipal elections. [Trib]
-> The father of Sean Thayne, who died trying to rescue a 4-year-old girl who fell in the Provo River, is calling on officials to increase water safety regulations. [APviaTrib]
-> The LDS Church denied allegations made in an Idaho lawsuit claiming that leaders covered up sexual abuse in the scouting program. [FOX13]
-> The White Mesa Uranium mill in southeastern Utah may get a new permit after its last one expired over a decade ago. [Trib]
-> UTA debuted a voucher program to reimburse drivers who give rides to seniors and disabled individuals. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley offers his take on the state of the GOP with an eye toward "The Birds." [Trib]
-> Paul Rolly argues that Gov. Gary Herbert’s wrath rivals that of Mother Nature. [Trib]
Where are they?
- Gov. Gary Herbert attends the Utah College of Applied Technology annual conference and the Utah Highway Patrol Association Banquet.
- State Auditor John Dougall continues a visit to San Juan County, speaks with county officials and attends the Grand County Republican Party Reagan Day Dinner.
-- Thomas Burr and Emily Anderson