Political Cornflakes: Inside the Russia investigation Trump calls a ’witch hunt’

In this May 16, 2018, photo, President Donald Trump speaks in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Trump’s meeting with Kim Jong Un may have been a surprise decision. But as he prepares to sit down with the North Korean leader next month, his team hopes to leave nothing to chance. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Inside the Russia investigation Donald Trump calls a “witch hunt.” Count My Vote effort may hit the ballot after unprocessed petitions are found. Legislature keeps UTA’s name.

Happy Thursday. The investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election and whether Team Trump played any role began with a secret FBI mission to London. Its codename was “Crossfire Hurricane,” and only a few people knew about it. And while President Donald Trump has called it a “witch hunt,” agents took steps that ultimately benefited him. A look inside the probe. [NYTimes]

Topping the news: The Count My Vote ballot may still be alive and headed for the November ballot after the Utah County Clerk’s Office found a box of unprocessed petitions. [Trib]

-> Supporters of a voter initiative that aims to end gerrymandering in the state say they’ve received enough signatures to be included on the Nov. 6 ballot. [Trib]

-> The Utah Legislature reversed its decision to rename the Utah Transit Authority to the Transit District of Utah after the public stir it caused. Also, the Utah Attorney General’s Office said UTA may have violated the Utah Open and Public Meetings Act. [Trib]

Tweets of the day: From @StephenAtHome: “Trying to understand why Kim Jong Un’s threatening to break off talks with the US. Did Trump cheat with a younger, hotter Korea?”

-> @billyeichner: “Anybody else think maybe North Korea just wanted to go to the Olympics?”

-> @IMAO: “Shouldn’t Neil deGrasse Tyson be chiming in to explain to Trump that technically all people are animals?”

Happy Birthday: To state Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck and recently retired state Sen. Margaret Dayton.

In other news: Utah Reps. Mia Love and Rob Bishop signed a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos urging her to reconsider a recent decision to restrict state oversight of student loan providers. [Trib]

-> A Utah man who has been held in a Venezuelan prison for nearly two years posted a video to Facebook saying that the prison had been seized by inmates trying to kill him. [Trib]

-> For the first time in modern memory, the polygamist town of Hildale has a secular city council. [Fox13]

-> A public opinion poll shows stark disagreements on environmental policy between two of Utah’s most rural counties, Grand County and San Juan County, although some say the divide wouldn’t be as strong if the poll included American Indians. [Trib]

-> The NAACP and the LDS Church are expected to release a joint statement Thursday, marking an unprecedented level of friendliness between the two institutions. [Trib]

-> The Utah Attorney General’s Office said the state will be suing Purdue Pharma, one of the country’s biggest opioid manufacturers, following the lead of state lawmakers. [Trib]

-> The Utah Legislature is considering a request that would let “Dreamers” take the Utah bar exam. [Trib]

-> Utah Senate Majority Leader Ralph Okerlund, R-Monroe, is doing well after heart and kidney transplants last week. [Trib]

-> Pat Bagley imagines what might be going through the minds of LDS Church officials amid the church’s opposition to a medical marijuana initiative. [Trib]

Nationally: The U.S. Senate narrowly voted in favor of saving net neutrality rules in a 52-47 vote. [NYTimes] [Politico]

-> The Senate Intelligence Committee voted 10-5 to recommend Gina Haspel, who has been criticized for overseeing torture at a CIA black site in Thailand, to be CIA director. [WaPost]

-> Some critics fear President Donald Trump’s desire for legacy will override the substance of negotiations with North Korea. [WaPost]

Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Send us a note to cornflakes@sltrib.com.

— Thomas Burr and Connor Richards

Twitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/crichards1995

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