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Oprah Winfrey considers running for president. Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman rises as possible U.S. ambassador to Russia. Senate confirms Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke amid Bears Ears protests.

Happy Thursday. Will Oprah Winfrey run for president? Maybe ... probably not. The TV personality joked in an interview this week that if Donald Trump could win, she might too. "I never considered the question even a possibility," Winfrey said. "That's what I thought. I thought, 'Oh gee, I don't have the experience. I don't know enough. I don't ...' And now I'm thinking, 'Oh. Oh.'" She then went on to say that she likely won't run but that Trump's election has given her a new perspective on what it takes to hold office. Still, in 2015, Trump quipped about having Winfrey as his running mate. "I think Oprah would be great," he said. "I think we'd win easily, actually." [<a href="">ABCNews</a>]

<strong>Topping the news: </strong>Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman is "in the mix" to serve in President Donald Trump's administration as the U.S. ambassador to Russia, which would put him in one of the most challenging foreign policy roles as investigations begin on the country's potential role in the U.S. presidential election. [<a href=""; target="_blank">Trib</a>] [<a href=""; target="_blank">ABC4</a>] [<a href=""; target="_blank">Fox13</a>] [<a href=""; target="_blank">KUTV</a>]

-> As the Senate confirmed Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, protesters gathered in Washington to argue for the preservation of Utah's Bears Ears National Monument. [<a href="">Trib</a>] [<a href=""; target="_blank">DNews</a>]

-> After 13 days of arguments in the public corruption trial of former Utah Attorney General John Swallow, the jury will deliberate the nine felony and misdemeanor counts remaining against him. If convicted, Swallow faces up to 30 years in prison. [<a href=""; target="_blank">Trib</a>] [<a href=""; target="_blank">DNews</a>] [<a href=""; target="_blank">ABC4</a>] [<a href=""; target="_blank">Fox13</a>] [<a href=""; target="_blank">KUTV</a>]

-> Though Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes wasn't called to testify in Swallow's case as originally planned, a new court document shows he was subpoenaed in late 2016 in a business lawsuit between others regarding development planned around a Draper train station. [<a href=""; target="_blank">Trib</a>]

<strong>Tweets of the day: </strong>From <a class="ProfileHeaderCard-screennameLink u-linkComplex js-nav" href=""; target="_blank">@RobertGehrke</a>: "If Trump picks @seanreyesag to head the FTC, can John Swallow get his old job back if he's acquitted? #AskingForAFriend"

-> From <a href="">@joshgondelman</a>: "Jeff Sessions is like the protagonist of an NBC comedy called 'Bad Attorney General.'"

-> From <a href="">@JohnDingell</a>: "Generally, your Attorney General shouldn't need an attorney."

<strong>In other news:</strong> Businesses in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument area are challenging what they say has been a phony narrative used to justify shrinking the designation. [<a href=""; target="_blank">Trib</a>] [<a href=""; target="_blank">Fox13</a>]

-> Reps. Chris Stewart and Mia Love each held an online town hall Wednesday night, addressing constituent concerns about President Donald Trump, Obamacare and Russia. [<a href="">Trib</a>]

-> Sen. Orrin Hatch pledged to enlist the State Department and the Trump administration to assist Jewish leaders in recovering sacred religious texts. [<a href=""; target="_blank">Trib</a>] [<a href=""; target="_blank">DNews</a>]

-> The growing pressure from Salt Lake City's homeless population led the owner of Rio Grande Cafe to sell the restaurant. [<a href=""; target="_blank">Trib</a>]

-> Provo's police chief said officers should focus on protecting the public and investigating crimes — not on acting as agents for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. [<a href=""; target="_blank">APviaTrib</a>]

<p class="p1">-> U.S. Park Service officials in southern Utah's Zion National Park temporarily closed a dozen climbing routes to protect endangered peregrine falcons. [<a href=""; target="_blank">APviaTrib</a>] [<a href=""; target="_blank">ABC4</a>]</p>

-> Pat Bagley critiques the Utah Legislature's proposed reinstatement of a full sales tax on food. [<a href=""; target="_blank">Trib</a>]

-> Robert Gehrke says the National Rifle Association's threat to campaign against lawmakers who supported a proposed bill that would have kept guns out of the hands of perpetrators of domestic violence led to the legislation's demise. [<a href=""; target="_blank">Trib</a>]

<strong>From the Hill: </strong>The House Business and Labor Standing Committee moved forward for further debate a bill that would overhaul Utah's liquor laws. [<a href=""; target="_blank">Trib</a>] [<a href=""; target="_blank">DNews</a>] [<a href=""; target="_blank">ABC4</a>] [<a href=""; target="_blank">Fox13</a>] [<a href=""; target="_blank">KUTV</a>]

-> A bill that would lower the legal blood-alcohol limit for Utah drivers from 0.08 to 0.05 — making it the toughest DUI standard in the nation — won approval on its next to last stop through the Legislature. [<a href=""; target="_blank">Trib</a>] [<a href=""; target="_blank">DNews</a>] [<a href=""; target="_blank">ABC4</a>] [<a href=""; target="_blank">KUTV</a>]

-> A House committee unanimously approved a bill that would allow people convicted of driving under the influence the chance to keep their licenses through participation in a court-ordered sobriety program. [<a href=""; target="_blank">DNews</a>]

-> Rep. Mike Noel, the sponsor of a bill meant to curb polygamy, brought the LDS Church into floor debate for the legislation and called polygamous sects "organized crime." [<a href=""; target="_blank">Trib</a>]

-> The sponsor of a bill proposing the state borrow $1 billion to accelerate already planned highway projects says the measure would improve the economy, increase income taxes for education and take the politics out of which transportation projects get done. [<a href=""; target="_blank">Trib</a>]

->  Though a Republican caucus has not yet settled on a tax reform plan with six days left in the session, they are reportedly looking at providing a break for lower-income Utahns and raising taxes for the wealthy in addition to a partial food tax restoration. [<a href=""; target="_blank">Trib</a>] [<a href=""; target="_blank">DNews</a>]

<p class="p1">-> Members of the House Education Committee voted to place the Utah High Schools Activities Association under the state's open meetings and records laws and cut the group's governing body from 32 members to 15. [<a href=""; target="_blank">Trib</a>]</p>

<p class="p1">-> Amidst litigation from the advocacy group Equality Utah aimed at the so-called "no promo homo" law, the Senate approved a measure to end a state ban on the "advocacy of homosexuality" in public classrooms. [<a href=""; target="_blank">Trib</a>]</p>

<p class="p1">->  Legislation seeking to shorten Utah's election lines is headed to Gov. Gary Herbert's desk for his signature or veto after passing unanimously in both the House and the Senate. [<a href=""; target="_blank">Trib</a>]</p>

<p class="p1">->  A new bill would have the state elections office wait to generate its randomized alphabetical order for ballot listing until after the filing deadline — an attempt to prevent alphabet gamesmanship, where candidates tweak their names for better positioning on the ballot. [<a href=""; target="_blank">Trib</a>]</p>

<p class="p1">-> After amendments to the legislation, a Senate committee endorsed a bill that would prohibit possession or carrying of guns by people convicted of domestic violence or who had a protective order against them. [<a href=""; target="_blank">Trib</a>] [<a href=""; target="_blank">DNews</a>]</p>

<p class="p1">-> A House committee moved forward legislation containing a provisional concealed carry permit for Utahns ages 18-20, which the bill's sponsor said would help college students protect themselves from potential sexual assaults. [<a href=""; target="_blank">Trib</a>] [<a href="—to-20-year-olds-continues-forward.html"; target="_blank">DNews</a>]</p>

<p class="p1">-> A proposal that would codify penalties for attempted strangulation advanced through the House after lawmakers heard emotional testimony from a Utah woman who said her husband choked her. [<a href=""; target="_blank">DNews</a>]</p>

<p class="p1">-> What was once a bill looking to reform the size of the Utah Transit Authority board and revamp the way its members are appointed passed through a House committee as more of a mandate for studies of governance, funding and transit-oriented developments. [<a href=""; target="_blank">Trib</a>]</p>

<p class="p1">-> A bill that would require medical providers to inform a woman seeking a medically-induced abortion that the process can sometimes be reversed midway through gained favor from a Senate committee. [<a href=""; target="_blank">Trib</a>] [<a href=""; target="_blank">DNews</a>]</p>

<p class="p1">-> A Utah lawmaker hopes a resolution that would create a voluntary service animal registration program would help business owners whose hands are often tied from restricting access to patrons with animals because of the Americans with Disabilities Act. [<a href=""; target="_blank">DNews</a>]</p>

<p class="p1">-> A bill that would have extended tax credits to energy-efficient vehicles failed in the House on a 37-38 vote. [<a href=""; target="_blank">DNews</a>]</p>

<p class="p1">-> More than 200 educators and high school students came together for Multicultural Youth Leadership Day on the Hill. [<a href=""; target="_blank">DNews</a>]</p>

<strong>Nationally:</strong> Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke with Russia's ambassador to the United States twice last year, according to the Justice Department, though he testified under oath during his confirmation hearings that he "did not have communications with the Russians." [<a href=""; target="_blank">CNN</a>] [<a href=""; target="_blank">WaPost</a>] [<a href=""; target="_blank">NBCNews</a>] [<a href=""; target="_blank">TheHill</a>]

-> Lawmakers in the House Intelligence Committee have agreed to and set the parameters for their investigation into Russia's potential interference into the U.S. presidential election. [<a href=""; target="_blank">TheHill</a>] [<a href=""; target="_blank">WaPost</a>] [<a href="">NYTimes</a>]

<strong>Where are they?</strong>


<li>Rep. Jason <strong><a href=""; target="_blank">Chaffetz</a> </strong>manages a floor debate of an Oversight Committee bill, chairs a hearing examining transparency at the Transportation Security Administration and returns to Utah.</li>

<li>Rep. Chris <strong><a href=""; target="_blank">Stewart</a> </strong>attends a House Intelligence Committee briefing and meets with members of the National Treasury Employees Union, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the National Peace Corps Association and the Rural Community Assistance Corporation. Later, he speaks with officials from the Bureau of Land Management and flies back to Utah.</li>

<li>Rep. Mia <strong><a href=""; target="_blank">Love</a> </strong>meets with members of the Financial Services Committee and attends a briefing with GOP members and Gov. Scott Walker.</li>

<li>Gov. Gary <strong><a href=""; target="_blank">Herbert</a> </strong>receives an update on the Legislature before speaking with the media and attending a Qualtrics summit at the Grand America Hotel.</li>

<li>Lt. Gov. Spencer <strong><a href=""; target="_blank">Cox</a> </strong>attends a Qualtrics summit before heading to a weekly meeting with legislative leadership. Later, he joins the Multicultural Commission's strategic planning meeting.</li>

<li>State Auditor John <strong><strong><a href=""; target="_blank">Dougall</a> </strong></strong>teleconferences with a member of the State Board of Education and visits with various legislators and county commissioners.</li>

<li>President Donald <strong><strong><a href="">Trump</a> </strong></strong>receives his daily intelligence briefing before departing the White House. Later, he arrives at Langley Air Force Base, participates in an operations briefing, speaks with leadership and delivers remarks. In the evening, he returns to Washington.</li>


Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. If you haven't already, sign up for our weekday email and get this sent directly to your inbox. [<a href=""; target="_blank">Trib</a>]

— Courtney Tanner and Taylor Stevens