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Trump visits a food pantry in Utah. Photo: Evan Vucci / AP

President Trump signed two presidential proclamations Monday to scale back the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments in Utah, opening federally-owned public lands for private development. The Bears Ears monument is shrinking from 1.5 million acres to 220,000 acres and the Grand Staircase-Escalante is going from 2 million acres to 1 million acres, per a pool report.

The backdrop: Trump's move received mixed reviews, with Utah Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee cheering alongside the audience at Trump's Salt Lake City rally and protestors opposing the decision in Utah and outside the White House.

More from Trump's speech:

  • He encouraged Utah's senior senator Orrin Hatch to run for re-election.
  • On Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke: "Does he know the interior? He knows it, he loves it. He loves seeing it and riding on it."
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper

1 dead as severe storms pummel the South

A tree that fell on a home carport damaged a vehicle during a storm in Central, Louisiana. No injuries were reported, according to Central Fire Department. Photo: Central Fire Department/Twitter

Strong storms lashed the South early Saturday, spawning at least one tornado and unleashing powerful winds and hail. And forecasters warned more severe weather was expected to hit parts of the region in the coming hours.

Details: Thousands of customers lost power in Florida, Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana, according to tracking site poweroutage.us. An F3 tornado that hit St Landry Parish, Louisiana, killed one person and wounded seven others.

Scoop: Biden eyes Russia adviser criticized as soft on Kremlin

Photo: Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty Images

President Biden is considering appointing Matthew Rojansky, head of the Wilson Center's Kennan Institute, as Russia director on the National Security Council, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Why it matters: Rojansky has been praised for his scholarship on Russia and is frequently cited in U.S. media for his expert commentary. But his work has drawn criticism — including in a 2018 open letter from Ukrainian alumni of Kennan that blasted the think tank he runs as an "unwitting tool of Russia’s political interference."

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases hold steady at 65,000 per day — CDC declares racism "a serious public health threat" — WHO official: Brazil is dealing with "raging inferno" of a COVID outbreak.
  2. Vaccines: America may be close to hitting a vaccine wall — Pfizer asks FDA to expand COVID vaccine authorization to adolescents — CDC says Johnson & Johnson vaccine supply will drop 80% next week.
  3. Economy: Treasury says over 156 million stimulus payments sent out since March — More government spending expected as IMF projects 6% global GDP growth.
  4. Politics: Supreme Court ends California's coronavirus restrictions on home religious meetings.
  5. World: Iran tightens COVID restrictions amid fourth wave of pandemic.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.