Happy Thursday! The QAnon movement got its start last October, pivoting off a cryptic comment by President Donald Trump. Sen. Lee argues free speech in the latest gun-rights dust-up. And a new SLC Airport is taking shape amid a $3.6 billion redo.
The strange, convoluted and increasingly widespread QAnon conspiracy theory traces its genesis to a cryptic comment President Trump made last October about the “calm before the storm.” The theory’s subscribers say they are preparing for conflict against the deep state, globalists and elites with a final awakening destined before the ultimate victory. [WaPost]
Topping the news: Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson attempted to pass a bill by unanimous consent to prohibit publishing blueprints to make 3D guns, but Sen. Mike Lee blocked it, citing First Amendment concerns. [Trib] [Fox13] [DNews] [KUER]
-> The first phase of the “largest construction project in the history of the state,” a $3.6 billion rebuild of the Salt Lake City International Airport, is reaching its halfway point. [Trib]
-> Gehrke writes that the trade war sparked by President Trump’s tariffs is coming home to roost with Utah farmers. Combined with the drought, it has pushed some to the brink. [Trib]
Tweets of the day: From @joshgondelman: “Paul Manafort’s midlife crisis expenses are going to send him to jail when he could have just grown a goatee and gotten really into vinyl instead.”
-> From @katherinemiller: “I love how all the Justice Department photos of Paul Manafort’s clothes look like they’re from a listing for an apartment sublet on craigslist.”
-> From @Pappiness: “The main difference between Al Capone and Donald Trump is that we’ve actually seen Al Capone’s taxes.”
Happy Birthday: To Cam Madsen, a legislative assistant for Rep. Chris Stewart.
Trib Talk: Provo Pride spokeswoman Brianna Cluck, Utah Pride Center executive director Rob Moolman, and Jordan Sgro, chief program officer of Encircle, join Tribune reporter Benjamin Wood to discuss LoveLoud’s impact, successes, missteps, and future. [Trib]
In other news: Sen. Orrin Hatch and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions condemned a 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision that allowed 211 Utah inmates to file for shortened sentences (30 of which were successful), saying the decision led to the deaths of two Utah County teens whose bodies were found in a mine shaft earlier this year. [Trib]
-> A St. George businessman and his two brothers are suing an FBI agent and other authorities who investigated the public corruption cases of former Utah Attys. Gen. Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow, claiming they were threatened if they didn’t help incriminate the politicians. [Trib]
-> Pioneer Park, which is less than a half-mile from Salt Lake City’s emergency shelter, will be getting a new, lighted grass soccer and multipurpose field as part of a $1 million effort to renovate the downtown park. [Trib] [DNews] [ABC4]
-> As Utah prepares for the development of an inland port, what is being described as the “most significant economic opportunity” in a generation, here is a look at what an inland port is and what other ports around the country look like. [KUER] test test test
-> The latest conflict over plans for an expanded gravel pit at the Point of the Mountain pits the mining company and its promises for designation of a new conservation area with concerns about increased air pollution. [DNews]
-> Myron Walker, husband of the late Gov. Olene Walker, died Monday at the age of 90. He was Utah’s only first gentleman (Olene Walker was the first and only woman governor of the state.) [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley wonders why Sen. Lee would block a bill aimed at preventing the “copying of weapons of mass-killing at home on your personal 3D printer.” [Trib]
Nationally: In the second day of the trial of President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, prosecutors alleged Manafort wired millions of dollars from secret overseas bank accounts, income he hid from U.S. tax authorities, to renovate houses and shop at exclusive men’s boutiques. [NYTimes] [WaPost] [USAToday]
-> Against legal advice, the president asked his lawyers to move forward with arranging an interview between him and special counsel Robert Mueller, saying he looked forward to clearing himself of any wrongdoing in Mueller’s investigation. [NYTimes] [TheHill]
-> With midterm elections nearing, there is a growing fear that U.S. voting systems are no more secure against hackers than they were two years ago when Russia interfered with the presidential campaign. [WaPost]
-> Under the current presidential administration, press briefings are becoming a rarity. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders held just three press briefings in July. [Politico]
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-- Dan Harrie and Connor Richards