Sen. Hatch: Allegations against Trump are irrelevant because the economy is surging. Bad data make tracking homeless populations difficult, report says. New group says Legislature’s replacement of Prop 2 is a constitutional crisis.

Happy Tuesday. Sen. Orrin Hatch, who has been an effusive supporter of President Donald Trump, says it doesn’t matter if the president did anything wrong because the economy is doing well. Hatch on Monday dismissed new court papers directly implicating Trump in efforts to buy women’s silence, saying the matter is irrelevant because the economy is booming and the payments were made before Trump was elected to the White House. [WaPost]

Topping the news: Bad or useless data make keeping track of Utah’s homeless population and the success of homelessness programs nearly impossible, according to a report released by the Legislative Auditor General’s office. [Trib][DNews][KUTV]

-> Utah voters are calling a constitutional crisis over the Legislature’s replacement of Proposition 2 with the Medical Cannabis Act. A group called “The People’s Right” claims that the Legislature has overstepped its bounds with this move. [Trib][DNews][Fox13]

Tweets of the Day: From @ryanbeckwith: “Surprised that no one has collected all the Mueller filings into a quickie Amazon book yet.”

-> From @nataliewsj: “I give DC bars roughly one weekend until ‘Bottomless Pinocchio’ shows up on a cocktail menu next to ‘Moscow Mueller’.”

-> From @sam_baker: “Whoever does end up hosting the Oscars is going to be like their 5th choice after ‘literally no one,’ and wow, what a vote of confidence that they trust you to do a good job.”

-> From @BarackObama: “No jump shots. No ferns. No memes. Not this time. I’m going to give it to you straight: If you need health insurance for 2019, the deadline to get covered is December 15. Go to today and pass this on — you just might save a life.”

Happy Birthday: to Carter Livingston and Bart Barker, manager of Greater Salt Lake Municipal Services District.

In other news: Salt Lake County Councilman Arlyn Bradshaw launched his bid for Salt Lake County mayor on Monday, seeking to replace Rep.-Elect Ben McAdams. He will be running against Councilwoman Jenny Wilson and former congressional candidate Shireen Ghorbani. [Trib][DNews]

-> Rep.-Elect Ben McAdams selected Nichole Dunn, his former deputy mayor, as his chief of staff. [Trib][DNews]

-> Utah’s Department of Environmental Quality is instituting two new air quality monitors in the Salt Lake Valley, one in Magna and one in Murray. They will be the fifth and sixth stations in Salt Lake Valley, allowing scientists greater access to study the air pollution and giving residents the ability to monitor air quality in their area. [Trib]

-> Gov. Gary Herbert’s budget plan would almost quadruple the budget for public defenders, giving Utahns who can’t afford an attorney a huge boost in negotiating the criminal justice system. [Trib]

-> Sen.-Elect Mitt Romney raised more than five times as much money as his opponent, Democrat Jenny Wilson, for the midterm elections. [DNews]

-> Pat Bagley gives his take on special counsel Robert Mueller’s hard facts. [Trib]

Nationally: President Trump is struggling to fill his chief of staff post at the White House to replace John Kelly after his topic pick, Nick Ayers, turned him down. A short list of other potential options exist, but frustration is mounting after his very public search for the best officials has yielded few results. [NYTimes][CNN][Fox][WSJ]

-> Trump defended himself Monday against allegations that he gave “hush money” during his presidential campaign to two women he had allegedly had sexual relations with. [NYTimes]

-> Despite the president’s efforts to limit migration into the United States, asylum claims have jumped by nearly 70% since 2017. [NYTimes]

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-- Thomas Burr and Cara MacDonald