President Trump’s mess of a speech to the Boy Scouts at their annual jamboree earlier this week has caused enough of a stir that the head scout had to apologize for it.
On Thursday, Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh wrote a letter about Trump’s speech at the Boy Scouts of America 2017 National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia on Monday. He said that overall the jamboree hasn’t been “diminished in recent days,” even though “the past few days have been overshadowed by the remarks offered by the President of the United States.”
Trump’s speech, part of a long tradition to invite the sitting U.S. president to speak at the national event, veered into political territory quickly. That’s strictly not what the jamboree and Boy Scouts organization is about and it wasn’t the intended result of inviting Trump to speak.
Surbaugh apologized for the president’s speech: “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,” he wrote.
Many longtime Boy Scouts and leaders weighed in, saying Trump’s speech was offensive and off base. Sen. Bernie Sanders called it “outrageous.”
At Thursday’s White House press briefing, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dismissed the notion that Trump should apologize for what became a political rally.
WH’s Sanders on Trump speech for which Boy Scouts apologized: “I was at that event. I saw nothing but 40-45,000 Boy Scouts cheering him on”
John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) July 27, 2017
As the head scout noted in his letter, this is “a challenging time in a country divided along political lines.” Of course, that still doesn’t excuse the president’s behavior.
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