Russia isn’t taking new U.S. sanctions lightly after an announcement by the U.S. this week sent its currency value plummeting. Meanwhile Sen. Orrin Hatch says he knows why Democrats are resisting President Donald Trump’s latest Supreme Court nominee, and Utah continues to burn.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Friday his country would consider it a “declaration of economic war” if U.S. sanctions target Russian banks. The U.S. has lodged economic penalties on the country because of its involvement in poisoning a former intelligence officer and his daughter in Britain. [Reuters]
Topping the news: Sen. Orrin Hatch’s latest guess as to why Democrats are trying to block Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court: “They hate the fact that Hillary [Clinton] was beaten, and especially by Donald Trump.” [Trib] [Fox13] [DNews]
-> Ron Stallworth, a former Utah police officer who inspired Spike Lee’s new “BlacKkKlansman” movie, described his former bosses at the Utah Department of Public Safety as “a–holes” who wanted to fire him. [Trib] [ABC4]
-> While San Juan County acknowledged a “serious lapse in judgement” when a county clerk improperly backdated a complaint to Willie Grayeyes’ residency, the county ultimately defended its decision to boot the Democratic candidate for county commission from the ballot. [Fox13]
Tweets of the day: From @RobertGehrke: “Great news guys! I’ve submitted my application to the Space Academy. If things go as planned, I’ll be an official member of Space Force by 2020. #LaunchGehrke”
-> From @byrdinator: “’vice president announces space force’ seems like one of those fake headlines you see in a movie”
-> From @swin24: “It should worry us all deeply that Trump still doesn’t have a presidential dog or presidential cat.”
Happy Birthday: On Saturday to former D.C. interns Neela and Neena Pack and on Sunday to our Texan friend Kendall Spawn.
Behind the Headlines: Tribune reporters Brian Maffly and Benjamin Wood and columnist Robert Gehrke join KCPW’s Roger McDonough to talk about the week’s top stories, including the reinstated candidacy of San Juan County Commission candidate Willy Grayeyes and Rep. Mia Love’s misleading mailer.
Every Friday at 9 a.m., stream “Behind the Headlines” online at kcpw.org or tune in to KCPW 88.3 FM or Utah Public Radio for the broadcast.
In other news: Thursday was a wild one in Utah County as fire officials battled multiple wildfires and accidentally sent out an evacuation alert to a half-million people as the West continues to burn. [Trib]
-> West Valley City code-enforcement officer Jill Robinson was shot and killed on the job while performing a routine follow-up at a home. The man believed to be the homeowner, Kevin Wayne Billings, was booked into jail for investigation of aggravated arson and aggravated murder. [Trib] [Fox13] [DNews] [KSL] [ABC4]
-> The CEO of Washakie Renewable Energy, Jacob Kingston, who has ties to the Kingston polygamous group, was accused of pocketing $10 million in order to dodge a creditor. [Fox13]
-> The new Utah Valley Express (UVX) bus rapid transit begins service Monday and will be free to ride for the next three years, thanks to a grant from the Federal Highway Administration Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement. [Trib]
-> After negotiations between the Cache Humane Society and Logan City leaders broke down, the city reached an 11-month agreement with the Brigham City Police Department to house lost and stray dogs. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley illustrates where conservative conspiracy theorist Alex Jones can be found now that his accounts have been removed from most social media platforms. [Trib]
-> Opinion section: Former Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints member Brenda Nicholson compares the separation of migrant children from their parents to a similar practice in the FLDS. [BrendasJourneyBlog]
Nationally: Vice President Mike Pence promoted President Donald Trump’s plan to create another military force, the Space Command, and said it will be in operation by 2020. Pence wants Congress to allocate $8 billion for the project. [NYTimes] [Wired] [USAToday]
-> The judge in the Paul Manafort trial, U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III, told jurors to ignore his outbursts days ago at prosecutors, and said he was “probably wrong” for lashing out. [WaPost] [Politico]
-> While Trump has repeatedly denounced what he refers to as “chain migration,” his in-laws from Slovakia, Viktor and Amalija Knavs, became U.S. citizens using the same immigration program the president has criticized. [NYTimes] [CNN]
— Connor Richards and Taylor W. Anderson