News roundup: Can you hear me now? NSA snatches U.S. phone records
NSA nabs American phone call records. Swallow defends self to House GOPers. Lee meets with House conservatives.
Happy Thursday. The National Security Agency has been secretly grabbing telephone records of Verizon customers in the United States under a special court order, the Guardian newspaper reports. The order, from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, allows the NSA to snatch up records of all phone calls originating in the United States and specifically mentions local calls that have nothing to do with foreign persons. [Guardian] [WaPost] Read the court order here: [Guardian].
Topping the news: A new report shows the BLM should be using birth control to manage the wild horse population in the United States instead of rounding up and selling them. [Trib] [DNews]
-> Following interviews with the FBI, AG John Swallow offers his side of the story to Republican lawmakers who may play a part in deciding whether he is impeached. [Trib]
Tweets of the day: From @KJinDC7: "Is this John Swallow thing going to be the only time that people care what @paulmero has to say?"
From @Timodc: "Her fitness for office aside, "SAMANTHA POWER" is really the best name out there right now. I just want to keep saying it. SAMANTHA POWER."
Attention women: The U.'s Hinckley Institute will hold an all-day, nonpartisan training session on Saturday, June 15, designed to help women get engaged in running and serving in political office. Speakers include SLC Councilwoman Jill Remington Love, the Utah Pride Center's Megan Risbon, VoterWorks' Kim Coleman and former Rep. Jackie Biskupski. More info at http://www.realwomenrun.org/training-event.
In other news: Sen. Mike Lee joined a private meeting of more than 100 Senate and House conservatives Wednesday to discuss immigration issues, concluding that border security should come before any proposed reform. [Politico]
-> National parks nationwide will beging this summer to offer more healthy food options. [Trib]
-> Mitt Romney's son, Josh, will once more campaign on behalf of GOP congressional candidate Mia Love but is not ruling out running for office himself some day. [DNews]
-> Tune in to CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper" and "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer" later today to hear an interview with Mitt and Ann Romney in Utah about the future of the Republican party. [CNN]
-> The deadline to file as a candidate for the Salt Lake City Council is Friday at 5 p.m., with four district seats up for grabs. [Trib]
-> Kirk Jowers, director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah, joined the voices calling for Swallow's resignation. [Fox13]
-> Peg McEntee says Rep. Spencer Cox is right to be calling for impeachment hearings. [Trib]
-> Nearly 40% of Utah's Latino population doesn't have medical insurance, prompting Latino-focused insurance companies to offer subsidies to help low income families. [ABC4]
-> Former state Rep. Fred Cox says Utah's caucus system keeps power at the grassroots level and avoids the money equals power concern. [DNews]
-> Think you know Utah politics? Utah Political Capitol tests your political IQ. [UtahPoliticalCapitol]
Nationally: President Barack Obama was back in the Rose Garden on Wednesday, this time announcing that U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan E. Rice will replace Tom Donilon as national security adviser. Obama also nominated Samantha Power to replace Rice as ambassador. [NYTimes] [Politico]
-> Rep. Jason Chaffetz blasts Rice as the nominee, arguing that she lied about the Benghazi attacks. [DailyBeast]
-> U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales pleaded guilty to the massacre of 16 Afghan civilians in March 2012, a move that may spare him the death penalty. [NYTimes]
-> In an order dated April of this year the National Security Agency demanded that Verizon provide them with records of all phone calls made in the U.S. on a daily basis. [WaPost]
-> Vice President Joe Biden gave a humorous and heartfelt tribute to Sen. Frank Lautenberg, calling him the man who "never gave up." [Politico] [WaPost]
-> Two IRS officials learned the hard way that there's no such thing as a free lunch. Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel placed them on administrative leave for ordering free food to their hotel suites during a conference in Southern California in 2010. [WaPost] [Politico]
Where are they?
Rep. Rob Bishop meets with Rocky Mountain Power, holds a hearing for the Public Lands and Environmental Regulation Subcommittee, meets with representatives of the Airline Pilots Association and chats with officials from Overstock Inc.
Rep. Chris Stewart sits down with officials from Rocky Mountain Power, PacifiCorp and Mid-American Energy Holdings Company, talks with the ambassador of Egypt and attends a public lands committee hearing.
Gov. Gary Herbert tours the Springville plant of radar system manufacturers IMSAR and dedicates a new veterans home in Payson.
SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams meets with the Salt Lake County Board of Health, the Joint Policy Advisory Committee and the Council of Governments.
SLC Mayor Ralph Becker meets with the Salt Lake Chamber's Lane Beattie and attends a Salt Lake Council of Governments meeting.
WVC Mayor Mike Winder attends a Joint Policy Advisory Committee meetings at the Utah Transit Authority and then heads to the Salt Lake County Council of Governments meeting.
President Barack Obama travels first to North Carolina to visit Mooresville Middle School as part of his "Middle Class Jobs & Opportunity Tour" before moving on to San Jose to attend Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee meetings.
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Thomas Burr and Isobel MarkhamTwitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/i_markham