President Donald Trump has been widely criticized for his breaking an 80-year-old tradition in making political comments at the Boy Scouts National Jamboree in West Virginia. When asked about the controversy, however, Trump refused to apologize and instead said that there were no “mixed” views at the event. Rather, he said that the head of the Boy Scouts called him and told him it was “the greatest speech that was ever made to them.” That comment left many scratching their heads since the Boy Scouts apologized to parents for the Presidents speech and said yesterday that they are unaware of any such telephone call.
Trump’s comments came in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. The Boy Scouts were clearly taken aback by the comments and sent out a terse statement that “The Chief Scout Executive’s message to the Scouting community speaks for itself.” We previously discussed the apology from the Chief Scout for Trump’s comments.
“I want to extend my sincere apologies to those in our Scouting family who were offended by the political rhetoric that was inserted into the jamboree. That was never our intent. The invitation for the sitting U.S. President to visit the National Jamboree is a long-standing tradition that has been extended to the leader of our nation that has had a Jamboree during his term since 1937. It is in no way an endorsement of any person, party or policies. For years, people have called upon us to take a position on political issues, and we have steadfastly remained non-partisan and refused to comment on political matters. We sincerely regret that politics were inserted into the Scouting program.”
That is a deeply embarrassing apology for any president. The Wall Street Journal put the question diplomatically and simply said that the reaction to his speech was “mixed.” However, Trump insisted that his speech was great and that all of the scouts “loved it.” He then added
“I’d be the first to admit mixed. I’m a guy that will tell you mixed. There was no mix there. That was a standing ovation from the time I walked out to the time I left, and for five minutes after I had already gone. There was no mix.”