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Boy Scouts Apologize For Trump’s Speech At Jamboree

As I noted earlier this week, President Trump raised yet more controversy when he gave an explicitly partisan speech that talked mainly about himself to the quadrennial Boy Scout Jamboree held this year in West Virginia. Today, one of the leaders of the organization issued a formal apology:

A leader of the Boy Scouts of America apologized Thursday for a speech that President Trump gave to thousands of teenage scouts earlier this week — in which Trump broke with the Scouts’ earnest traditions by criticizing his political opponents, recounting his election victory, and talking about parties on yachts.

“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,” wrote Michael Surbaugh, whose title is Chief Scout Executive, wrote in a message posted online.

That was a break from the Boy Scouts’ earlier statements about Trump’s speech, issued the day afterward. Those merely noted that the scouts were”respectful of the wide variety of viewpoints in this country,” but made no mention of what Trump actually said.

On Thursday, Surbaugh wrote, “we sincerely regret that politics were inserted into the Scouting program.”

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not respond to a request for comment on Thursday afternoon.

Presidents are usually invited to address the National Scout Jamboree, a gathering that draws tens of thousands every four years. In the past, those presidential speeches dealt with broad themes like service, cooperation and the evils of drug use.

Trump’s talk in Mount Hope, W.Va., began with a similar message — “never quit. Persevere. Never, ever quit”– but then it veered away toward other themes.

Trump said he wouldn’t talk about politics: “I said, who the hell wants to speak about politics when I’m in front of the Boy Scouts? Right?”

But he did.

Trump called the news media “fake news,” and said the media would underplay the size of this crowd — as if the Boy Scouts were a crowd at a political rally. Trump told the scouts about watching the U.S. map turn red on election night, and blasted President Barack Obama for never attending a jamboree. Some in the crowd booed.

Trump also told stories about events rarely discussed from the rostrum at a Scout Jamboree, like a New York cocktail party — “the hottest people in New York were at this party,” he said — and a friend who got rich in real estate.

“He went out and bought a big yacht, and he had a very interesting life,” Trump said. “I won’t go any more than that, because you’re Boy Scouts so I’m not going to tell you what he did.”

In his statement, Surbaugh said that — outside of Trump’s talk — this year’s jamboree was the same as in past years, with scouts trading patches, climbing rockwalls and making new friends.

Welcome to Donald Trump’s America, boys!

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    Have we reached a new low when the BSA has to apologize for a Snowflake?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  2. teve tory says:

    Trump also told stories about events rarely discussed from the rostrum at a Scout Jamboree, like a New York cocktail party — “the hottest people in New York were at this party,” he said — and a friend who got rich in real estate.

    “He went out and bought a big yacht, and he had a very interesting life,” Trump said. “I won’t go any more than that, because you’re Boy Scouts so I’m not going to tell you what he did.”

    It’s almost like he’s a creep or something!

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0

  3. teve tory says:

    trump approval ratings, all voters:

    2017 Jul 17-23
    Approve 37
    Disapprove 58
    No opinion 5

    trump approval ratings, by party ID:

    2017 Jul 17-23
    Republicans 86
    Independents 31
    Democrats 8

    gallup

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  4. Mu says:

    “We apologize to those there were offended”, makes the CEO of United sound sincere. No “we won’t invite that turkey ever again”, no “I resign as I was standing on stage with the guy cheering him on”. The girl scouts lost 30% of sales after marching in Trump’s campaign, I don’t want to see how popcorn sales go next month.
    Oh, and they had the audacity to sent a fundraising mail on the success of the jamboree.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  5. CSK says:

    Yowza. First Donny gets kicked en los testiculos by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and when he’s doubled over in pain from that, the Head Scout karate-chops him in the neck.

    The Oval Office must be a fun place to be right now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  6. teve tory says:

    The Darkness and the Rot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  7. Stormy Dragon says:

    I wonder, does Trump actually have any speech writers? If so, is this what they’re actually writing for him, or is he just going off script?

    Is the later, I’d love to see comparisons between what he was supposed to be saying at things like this and what he actually says.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  8. Electroman says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I’m sure he does, but he doesn’t listen to them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  9. Not the IT Dept. says:

    It’s just word salad, spewed from his mouth as he scans the audience for applause so he can see what’s resonating. When he says he didn’t say something, I’m inclined to believe he’s telling (his version of) the truth: he doesn’t listen to himself, has no recollection of anything said once the event is over.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  10. Argon says:

    Time to stop making the the US President the ceremonial President of the BSA.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  11. CSK says:

    From Ryan Lizza at The New Yorker, here are two quotes from Scaramucci today:

    “Reince is a f*cking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac.”

    and

    “I’m not Steve Bannon. I’m not trying to suck my own cock.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  12. Tyrell says:

    There is no need for any apology from the BSA. Any apologies about this should come from some of the news networks that went crazy about this.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 35

  13. Scott says:

    @Tyrell: I was a Scout and my boy was a Scout. Yes, they needed to apologize for the lack of adult leadership.

    It is not the news networks; that is offensive. The blame is the classless pig of a President.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 2

  14. Gustopher says:

    Since it is traditional for the President to speak at the Boy Scout Jamboree, perhaps the Trump Voters need to apologize to the BSA…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  15. Mister Bluster says:

    @CSK:..suck his own cock.
    Thank you CSK.
    This is why I rely on OTB for accurate information.

    YAHOO’s AP rendition of Moochies rant:
    Bannon is “trying to burnish his own reputation.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  16. Mister Bluster says:

    @Tyrell:..Any apologies about this should come from some of the news networks that went crazy about this.

    What do you want Ty? The networks to not report what was said?
    You want the networks to get your approval before anything is broadcast?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  17. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Lizza has the audiotape of The Mooch’s comments about Priebus and Bannon.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  18. Davebo says:

    @CSK:

    Has he posted it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  19. Mister Bluster says:

    Weekly Reader News Quiz
    Who said:
    “Watch your language. If you can’t argue the facts don’t resort to that level of vacuousness. Demonization is over,”?

    A. The Butcher
    B. The Baker
    C. Cucchi Mucchi
    D. The Candlestick Maker
    Z. Jack

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  20. Mister Bluster says:

    More “Trump wishes it is” Fake News from CNN

    GOP Obamacare repeal bill fails in dramatic late-night vote.
    Washington (CNN)BREAKING: The Senate has dealt a devastating setback to the Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare, defeating a GOP “skinny repeal” bill early Friday morning.
    Sens. John McCain, Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins joined with Democrats to oppose the measure.

    When is Pee Wee going to start calling them the so called Senators, like the so called Judges?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Mister Bluster: I was surprised to see that John McCain found his soul–even if only for a few minutes and maybe suffering from drowsiness.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tyrell: You need to apologize for that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  23. James Breed says:

    This sixty year old Eagle Scout loved the speech. Every single word. Fifteen year old Jim would have LOVED it. I remember when President Obama was too busy to attend the Jamboree, he was busy taping The View. I guess the Jamboree was just too much testosterone for him. That or Michelle wouldn’t let him go. Liberals have hated the BSA since the sixties. First it was too militaristic. Then it was God. You can’t be an Eagle Scout and be an atheist. Then it was gays. I am glad that BSA recognized the fact that I had gay leaders and was in scouting with gay Scouts. However, change takes time and they did a great job.

    I’ll bet a nickel that 99% of the speech haters are HRC voting, Trump haters, who never got past Star.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 22

  24. teve tory says:

    For once in his life McCain did the right thing.

    And he’ll get 10x more credit for it than Collins and Murkowski.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  25. KM says:

    @Tyrell:
    He told a bunch of minors about his escapades on a sex yacht. Yes, he needs to apologize and so did the BSA.

    The BSA bills itself as a wholesome organization where young men learn valuable life skills, one of them how Not to Be a Douchebag. They then let Trump on the stage where he gave a pretty good practical demonstration while tossing in how To Be Sleazy for good measure. Unless the point was to show the Scouts what not to do, they need to apologize for violating their core beliefs. Scouting actually MEANS something to many so this isn’t a partisan issue. This is Trump giving parents and BSA leadership a real life test of how to follow their own Code. They’d be furious if a teacher or other adult did this to their kids – why should the President get a pass?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  26. teve tory says:

    Trump has only ever been a sleazy con man. And tyrell shows us that a sleazy con man can always find a few marks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  27. KM says:

    @James Breed:
    The speech was supposed to be about the Scouts, not Donald. That rambling mess was what you hear out of Drunk Uncle James, not the President. It’s really sad that an organization that prides itself on believing in God would tolerate a man like Trump giving “advice” and sex stories to impressionable minds. There was nothing of the Lord in that word salad. In fact, I’d bet serious money that while 15yr you would have been thrilled to meet the boozing, womanizing bag of “testosterone” telling you about models on a yacht, your Scout leader and pastor *wouldn’t* have been. Let’s see him give that speech in a megachurch and what reception it gets.

    An honest Scout would admit that Trump is everything a Scout should *not* be. No matter how you feel about him personally, he is in direct violation of everything the Scout creed espouses. This man is not a role model.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  28. James Breed says:

    @KM: I had leaders that were more out there than Trump. BTW Trump is a teetotaler.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  29. Tony W says:

    How could the Scouts have possibly known that a misogynistic and vulgar admitted sexual-predator would be an inappropriate speaker to a group of children?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  30. Tony W says:

    @James Breed:

    Trump is a teetotaler.

    He made that speech sober?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  31. teve tory says:

    @Tony W: Yeah, that’s the amazing part. He goes to the boy scouts, brags about himself, curses, talks shit about Obama and Hillary, and the media, calls Washington a “sewer”, hints that his rich friend bought a yacht and had lots of sex, and was completely sober the whole time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  32. grumpy realist says:

    Anyone read Peggy Noonan’s takedown of Trump? Epic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  33. teve tory says:
  34. al-Ameda says:

    @Tony W:

    How could the Scouts have possibly known that a misogynistic and vulgar admitted sexual-predator would be an inappropriate speaker to a group of children?

    It’s so very hard to know all of this. After all Trump has only given us a lifetime of overwhelming evidence of his narcissistic, bragging, bullying and malevolent behavior.

    There’s no way that we, or Scout leadership, could have known or predicted that Trump would address the Scout Jamboree in this manner.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  35. de stijl says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Was there an abundance of maudlin disappointment?

    Also, it can’t be a Peggy Noonan column without some heartwarming remembrance of Ronald Reagan.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  36. CSK says:

    @grumpy realist:

    @teve tory:

    Can’t get behind the WSJ paywall, but the paragraph and a half I was able to read were quite enjoyable.

    @de stijl:

    It’s Noonan’s propensity for whimsy that makes me want to strike her repeatedly over the head with a blunt instrument. But this piece seems promising.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  37. teve tory says:

    @CSK: I didn’t even notice there was a paywall. Mibad. I’ve got a chrome plugin called Bypass Paywalls which doesn’t always work, but works enough. 😛

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  38. teve tory says:

    Also, it can’t be a Peggy Noonan column without some heartwarming remembrance of Ronald Reagan.

    That’s in there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  39. teve tory says:

    First I had to hear all year about Trump’s “Grab ’em by the…” line, now I’ve got to hear every day about Scaramucci’s “Suck my own…” line.

    The evangelicals and other nitwits who support Trump have succeeded in one thing, and that’s degrading our public discourse.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  40. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @KM:

    Let’s see him give that speech in a megachurch and what reception it gets.

    Considering the reception that Trump has gotten at Liberty University and from Jerry Falwell, Jr., let’s not. Christianity is suffering enough at the hands of Evangelicals as it is. Better to not give them the chance to embarrass themselves yet again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  41. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @James Breed:

    I had leaders that were more out there than Trump.

    Now I remember why I didn’t join the Boy Scouts troop a friend from high school invited me to join. Thank you, I’ve been wondering about that since this whole snafu started.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  42. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @James Breed: I never was a Boy Scout. You want to know why? The idea of sharing a tent with unreconstructed a-holes like you was a wee too reminiscent of why I didn’t become an altar boy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  43. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Go to the Hill and click on the link in their article. Got me right thru.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  44. DrDaveT says:

    @James Breed:

    I had leaders that were more out there than Trump.

    Me too. Fortunately, though, none of my Scouting leaders were anywhere near as contemptible, self-centered, or morally bankrupt as Trump.

    You seem to have forgotten (if you ever actually understood) what Scouting is about. Hint: it was never about ‘winning’, even for values of ‘winning’ that include “making Eagle”. I knew some worthless Eagle Scouts, and some amazing First Class scouts that you would much rather have with you on a wilderness survival trip.

    This sixty year old Eagle Scout loved the speech. Every single word.

    Then you might want to consider returning your Citizenship trio of merit badges.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  45. Mister Bluster says:

    @James Breed:..This sixty year old Eagle Scout loved the speech. Every single word.

    If Pud’s speech to the Boy Scouts turned you on, his admission that he is an active sexual molester of women must have been a highlight in your life!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0