‘Radioactive’ Russian Ambassador set to return to Moscow. Chaffetz submits resignation letter, meets with Trump. As Chaffetz steps away from Washington, speculation remains about his departure.
Happy Monday. He was once called "the most radioactive man in Washington." Now he’s going home. Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak will return to Russia after nearly 10 years in his post, according to sources familiar with the situation. The diplomat’s departure comes in the midst of investigations by Congress and the FBI into interactions between Kislyak and President Donald Trump’s campaign staff. [Buzzfeed]
-> Even though Chaffetz said he wanted to spend more time with family, no one is sure of the compelling reason why the congressman decided to resign — but there is some speculation. [Trib]
-> During his time in Congress, Chaffetz has received a lot of attention — from a run-in with the TSA to voting to repeal and replace Obamacare on a knee scooter. [Trib]
-> After rising from a multilevel-marketing executive to the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Chaffetz is stepping down — but his political career may not be over. [Trib]
Tweets of the weekend: From @jackshafer: "Shut up, Sarah Huckabee Sanders explained."
-> From @jdawsey1: "At a late night diner outside Gaffney. No talk of Frank Underwood or the famed peach. Everyone is talking about Trump. There is no escape."
Opinion section: Darlene McDonald, who’s running for Congress in Utah’s 4th District, believes it’s time for Utah politicians to take a stand in Washington. [Trib]
-> George Chapman, a candidate for Salt Lake City Council District 5, discusses his vision for the future of public transit. [Trib]
-> Former Lieutenant Governor Val Oveson, who is currently a senior fellow on tax policy at Real Tax Reform Now!, argues that importing medication to lower prescription drug prices undermines free enterprise rather than helping consumers. [Trib]
-> Ryan Smith, the founder of Impact Hub Salt Lake, feels that Rocky Mountain Power’s metering system for customers with solar panels is stuck in the past. [Trib]
-> The public health that environmental rules are meant to protect is more valuable than the jobs that critics claim regulations destroy, writes policy director of HEAL Utah Ashley Soltysiak. [Trib]
-> Conservative Holly Richardson contends that the Utah Republican Party’s nomination of former state Rep. Chris Herrod makes a case against the traditional caucus system. [Trib]
-> Children of immigrants in Utah are living in fear under President Donald Trump, says editor and translator Patricia Quijano Dark. [Trib]
-> Westminster College Student Body President Benjamin Pok is among 100 student leaders across the country urging Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to preserve public lands. [Trib]
-> Larry Carcelli, an Ogden psychologist, believes the U.S. needs to come to terms with its empire status by ensuring the security of its allies rather than just its own. [Trib]
-> Frank Pignanelli and LaVarr Webb discuss the special election for outgoing Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s seat. [DNews]
-> Pat Bagley depicts a Trump supporter living under Trumpcare. [Trib]
-> Paul Rolly details a behind-the-scenes rivalry in the GOP primary for the 3rd Congressional District special election between state Sens. Deidre Henderson and Margaret Dayton. [Trib]
-> Robert Gehrke shares the story of his friend Forrest Shaw and argues that state lawmakers should legalize medical marijuana. [Trib]
Weekend in review: Sen. Mike Lee said he will only vote for the Senate health care bill if it includes a provision to allow states and individuals to "sidestep Washington’s arrogant incompetence and see if they can do better." [Trib]
-> Although Lee opposes the Senate’s plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, President Donald Trump called the senator a "good guy." [DNews]
-> The special elections in Georgia and Maine may hold clues as to how the election to replace Chaffetz will go. [DNews]
-> BYU adopted a policy that gives students who report sexual assaults amnesty from being disciplined for any Honors Code violations. [Trib]
-> Using the "efficiency gap" formula, the Associated Press found that Utah’s state legislative district boundaries give the GOP an advantage. [APviaTrib]
-> The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to hear the Utah Republican Party’s challenge to SB54, a bill that allows candidates to forgo the traditional caucus-convention system and instead collect signatures to get on the primary ballot. [Trib] [DNews]
-> The Mormon population in Salt Lake County is decreasing as it rises in Utah County. [Trib]
-> The LDS church opened its first district in Cuba, which includes two branches. [Trib]
-> Mormon Tabernacle Choir director Mack Wilberg teaches an advanced vocals class at the Utah State Prison. [Trib]
-> The Salt Lake County Council may investigate whether Recorder Gary Ott is abiding by the requirement that he live in the county. [Trib]
-> The Utah Patients Coalition will submit a ballot initiative for legalizing medical marijuana to the lieutenant governor’s office Monday. [DNews]
-> Keith Squires was confirmed again as commissioner of the Department of Public Safety. [DNews]
-> State lawmakers are reviewing sales tax exemptions. [KUER]
-> Advocates for Bears Ears National Monument held a panel at the University of Utah on Thursday to challenge what they say is "misinformation" spread by Utah politicians. [Trib]
-> Abdullah "Abdi" Mohamed, a teen who was shot by Salt Lake City police in the Rio Grande neighborhood last year, accepted a plea deal with reduced charges for aggravated assault and drug possession. [Trib]
-> Ephraim Police Chief Ron Rasmussen was placed on leave for getting behind on paper work. [DNews]
-> After a water main break last weekend that sparked a local state of emergency, Torrey generated enough water for businesses to reopen Thursday. [Trib]
Nationally: Republican leadership is scrambling to rally support for a health care bill that the Senate is set to vote on this week while some GOP senators are demanding changes to the legislation. [NYTimes] [WaPost] [Politico]
-> One month before the presidential election, Jared Kushner received a loan from Deutsche Bank, which was under federal investigation for an alleged Russian money-laundering scheme. [WaPost]
Where are they?
- Rep. Mia Love arrives in Washington, participates in a GOP legislative planning session, attends a Republican conference, meets with staff and votes at the Capitol.
- Gov. Gary Herbert holds an economic development meeting, speaks with staff and travels to Whitefish, Montana, for Western Governors Association meetings.
- Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox visits Brian Head to survey the fire and holds a press conference.
-- Courtney Tanner and Emily Anderson