A report from BuzzFeed News that President Donald Trump had personally directed his former attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about his push for a condo project in Russia in the lead up to the 2016 election has prompted fury from Democratic leaders and demands for an investigation. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., called the report “as serious as it gets.” Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Tex., said Trump must “resign or be impeached” if the story is true. At the same time, the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, dismissed the story. “If you believe Cohen," he said, “I can get you a great deal on the Brooklyn Bridge.” [WaPost]
Topping the news: The University of Utah released approximately one hour of calls made by Lauren McCluskey, the student who was attacked and killed in October by a man she’d dated, to university police, along with calls made by her parents before and after the attack. The University has been sharply criticized over its handling of the situation. [Trib] [DNews] [ABC4] [KSL]
-> Though a jury spent eight hours Thursday deliberating on whether Torrey Green, a former Utah State University football player, is guilty of sexually assaulting the six women who accused him, it was unable to come to a consensus and will reconvene today. [Trib] [DNews] [Fox13] [ABC4] [KSL] [KUTV]
-> A San Juan County clerk won’t face charges for falsifying the date of a complaint submitted by a county resident against Willie Grayeyes, a new Navajo commissioner who was campaigning for the seat at the time. Grayeyes was initially booted from the ballet but returned to win the election. [Trib]
Tweets of the day: @aedwardslevy: “Winter is the government shutdown of seasons.”
-> @tomtomorrow: “Remember ten thousand years ago when trump posed with all those hamburgers."
-> @pourmecoffee: “There will be a total lunar eclipse this weekend because NASA doesn’t have the staff to properly align Earth and the sun. I hope you’re happy Trump.”
Happy birthday: On Sunday to former state Rep. Patrick Painter.
Behind the Headlines: Tribune government and politics editor Dan Harrie, reporters Jessica Miller and Kathy Stephenson, and editorial page editor George Pyle join KCPW’s Roger McDonough to talk about the week’s top stories, including the trial of a former USU football player. Every Friday at 9 a.m., stream “Behind the Headlines” at kcpw.org, or tune in to KCPW 88.3 FM or Utah Public Radio for the broadcast. Join the live conversation by calling (801) 355-TALK.
Friday quiz: Last week, 95 percent of you knew refugees in Utah have experienced more prejudiced behavior since the 2016 presidential election, but only 44 percent knew about San Juan County’s ‘culture shock.’ Think you kept up with the news this week? Take our quiz to find out. A new quiz will post every Friday morning. You can find previous quizzes here. If you’re using The Salt Lake Tribune mobile app, click here. [Trib]
Tribune announcement: Report for America, a national service project, has teamed up with The Trib to bolster our coverage on two key issues. Starting this summer, we’ll have a new reporter based in San Juan County and another in Salt Lake City focused on how women have struggled to make up ground in the private sector and politics. If you know anyone who would like to apply for these exciting positions, they can go to this link for details. [ReportforAmerica]
Programming note: Political Cornflakes will be off Monday for the holiday but will be back in your inbox Tuesday morning.
In other news: There are few noticeable changes for visitors at Zion National Park due to the ongoing federal government shutdown. Restrooms were clean and open, a park ranger stood behind the information desk at the visitor center (thanks to outside funding) and the Zion tunnel is open to oversized vehicle escorts. [Trib]
-> A number of food pantries, entertainment companies and other services, including a southern Cajun and Creole restaurant in Logan, are stepping in to help Utahns impacted by the shutdown. [Trib]
-> Utah’s eight U.S. Forest Service avalanche workers are required to report for duty as usual during the shutdown because they serve a critical lifesaving capacity — even though there’s no guarantee they’ll get paid. [Trib]
-> In an op-ed published in Politico, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert condemned Washington for using the government shutdown as a “business-as-usual tactic,” avoided blaming either political party and suggested that more power be given to the states. [Trib]
-> In her State of the City speech, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski seemed to gear up for her re-election race later this year as she focused on her accomplishments in climate change, affordable housing and transportation. [Trib] [DNews] [Fox13] [KSL]
-> Rep. Ben McAdams was assigned to the House Financial Services Committee, which has jurisdiction over banking, insurance, housing, securities, and exchanges and is the same one former Rep. Mia Love had served on. [DNews] [ABC4]
-> Utah’s highways were less deadly in 2018 than they’ve been in decades — likely because more people are buckling up and fewer are drinking and driving, experts say. [Trib]
-> The Logan City Council is expected to consider a ban on single-use plastic bags next month. [Fox13]
-> Columnist Robert Gehrke argues that Utah’s new medical cannabis law shouldn’t be tested against Bryan Melchior, the co-owner of the Utah Gun Exchange, who is facing charges of intent to distribute marijuana and firearms. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley depicts the responses from conservative commentators Rush Limbaugh and Amy Coulter to Trump’s demand for a border wall. [Trib]
Nationally: Approximately 24 hours after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released a letter to Trump imploring him to postpone his State of the Union speech, the president struck back with a letter of his own that canceled her planned congressional trip to Afghanistan. He cited, like she had, the government shutdown as the reason. [NYTimes] [WaPost] [Politico]
-> A new report released by government inspectors found that thousands more children than the approximately 3,000 previously reported may have been separated from their parents under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy. [NYTimes] [CNN]
-> In a speech at the Pentagon, Trump promised to reinvent American missile defenses to detect and intercept incoming missiles — a vision that went far beyond the more modest plans the Pentagon set out in its new defense strategy released at the same time. [NYTimes] [WaPost]
-- Taylor Stevens and Sahalie Donaldson