‘The Rundown’: Romney accosted Hawley following Capitol attack

Your Wednesday morning Utah political cheat sheet

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Mitt Romney reportedly confronted Josh Hawley over the January 6 attack on the Capitol

We all remember the photo of Sen. Mitt Romney giving Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley the death stare on Jan. 6 as he explained his objection to the Electoral College votes. Hawley’s stance came even after a mob of Donald Trump supporters attempted a violent insurrection to overturn the election.

Here’s some backstory.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that, as the riot was underway, Romney told Hawley, “You have caused this.” The rebuke from Romney came as senators and aides were rushed to a secure location, but Hawley continued to push the false narrative that the election was fraudulent.

Romney also reportedly shouted “this is what you’ve gotten” to his Republican colleagues who pushed the election fraud narrative as the attack, incited by former President Donald Trump, intensified.

Romney is the only senator to vote twice to remove a sitting president from his own party twice during impeachment.

Cox channels Mikhail Baryshnikov as he dances around question about Liz Cheney

Later today, House Republicans are expected to push Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney out of her leadership position for refusing to go along with Donald Trump’s repeated lies about the 2020 election.

On PBS Newshour, Gov. Spencer Cox was asked by host Judy Woodruff if it was “the right thing” for Republicans to punish Cheney for her criticism of Trump. Cox deftly sidestepped the question.

“We like to say there’s room in the party for both Senator Mitt Romney and Senator Mike Lee, and I think that’s important for the future of the party,” said Cox, referencing Romney’s vote to convict Trump for inciting the January 6 Capitol riot while Lee voted to acquit.

Woodruff did not let it go asking,” Is the message that Republicans either line up behind President Trump or not? Is that a good message for the party’s future?”

Cox again clung to the middle like it was a life raft.

“I guess we will see,” he said. “I’ve been wrong about the party’s future in the past. I was wrong in 2016. And so I don’t know. I don’t think it’s healthy for a party that divides itself that way.”

Here’s what you need to know for Wednesday morning

Local news

  • The Tribune’s Robert Gehrke says a popular Salt Lake City restaurant is catching heat for requiring patrons to prove they’ve been vaccinated against COVID [Tribune].

  • Several cities across Utah will use ranked-choice voting for their municipal elections this year. In 2018, just two cities used the ballot method, but that number has increased to nearly two dozen [Tribune].

  • Gov. Spencer Cox joined a bipartisan group of governors who spoke with President Joe Biden to discuss efforts to get Americans vaccinated against the coronavirus [Tribune].

  • Cox reiterated his vow that there will be no mask mandate in place when students return to schools in the fall [Tribune].

  • Gov. Cox joined 18 other GOP governors in a letter to President Biden, blaming his administration “entirely” for the crisis at the southern U.S. border [Tribune].

  • The Utah Attorney General’s office concluded the use of force by Cottonwood Heights police in response to a 2020 protest was proper [Tribune].

  • Rio Tinto Stadium will not require masks for fans attending the upcoming Real Salt Lake Game, but they still say face coverings are “strongly recommended” [Tribune].

National news

  • House Republicans will meet this morning to boot Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney from her leadership position in favor of New York Republican Elise Stefanik. But, Stefanik is facing some opposition from the party’s far-right wing, who says she is not conservative enough to be in leadership [Politico].

  • Cheney took to the House floor on Tuesday evening and tore into former President Donald Trump and the GOP, calling the former president a “threat we have never seen before.” She accused her fellow Republicans of abandoning the rule of law and warned the former president would “incite further violence” [Politico].

  • Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller worried about the “optics” of deploying troops to the U.S. Capitol as a mob of Donald Trump supporters stormed the building attempting to stop the certification of the 2020 election results. Miller said the move could spark allegations of a “coup” [NYT].

  • Filling stations on the East Coast are running out of gasoline. The shortages result from the shutdown of a major pipeline due to a ransomware attack [WSJ].

  • There were more than 8 million job openings in the U.S. in March, a new record [CNBC].

  • The Department of Homeland Security is creating a team to combat domestic terrorism [Politico].

  • A federal judge dismissed the National Rifle Association’s bankruptcy case, saying the organization cannot incorporate in Texas to get around an effort to disband the group by New York [AP].

  • The White House announced a partnership with Uber and Lyft to provide free rides to COVID-19 vaccine sites [TechCrunch].

  • California gubernatorial hopeful Caitlyn Jenner falsely claims she did not vote in the 2020 election despite official records showing she cast a ballot. She refuses to say who she voted for [Politico].

  • A new book claims two members of Donald Trump’s extended family got “inappropriately” close to Secret Service agents during his presidency. Donald Trump Jr.’s wife Vanessa allegedly started dating one of the agents before she filed for divorce from Trump Jr. The book also says Trump’s daughter Tiffany spent an “unusual amount of time alone” with an agent on her security detail [The Guardian].

Wednesday morning’s Utah headlines


  • High school lacrosse players accused of using racist slurs to opponents after recent game [Tribune].

  • Salt Lake City officer charged with another felony as review of K-9 attacks continues [Tribune].

  • ‘A boiling point’: Small business owner says homeless community is affecting revenue [ABC 4].

  • Pro-Life Utah debuts mobile clinic in front of Planned Parenthood [Fox 13].


  • Another 11 Utahns die of COVID-19 [Tribune].

  • SLC Mayor signs executive order requiring masks in city facilities [KUTV].

  • Washington County parents react to school district’s decision to not enforce mask wearing [ABC 4].


  • Buying a home brings fear and trepidation in hot markets [Deseret News].


  • Park City appoints new planning director who wants to ‘reduce unnecessary developments’ [Park Record].


Local government

  • ‘Tensions are very high’: Mantua residents unsure how to feel about new police chief [ABC 4].

  • Kaysville Mayor Katie Witt not running for reelection [Standard-Examiner].

  • Downtown Ogden traffic already bad, will get worse in coming days [Standard-Examiner].

  • Lehi City Council prepares to set 2022 budget [Daily Herald].

On the editorial pages

  • This law makes Americans safer, and Utah’s senators should make sure it continues, Tribune Editorial Board says [Tribune].

  • Jonathan Thompson: Housing prices in the West are over the moon [Tribune].

  • A humble — local — answer to climate solutions [Deseret News].