Following an 80-year presidential tradition, President Trump addressed a group of roughly 40,000 members of Boy Scouts of America on Monday at the organization’s national scout jamboree in Glen Jean, West Virginia.
Mainstream media outlets panned the president’s speech for being too political and for his saying, “Who the hell wants to speak about politics when I’m in front of the boy scouts?” before speaking about politics and even threatening to fire his Health and Human Services secretary if he couldn’t convince members of Congress to vote for the Republican healthcare bill.
Speaking for roughly half an hour at the quadrennial event, Trump did point out that when he’s at work, he’s literally surrounded by former scouts. “As president, I rely on former boy scouts every day,” said Trump, noting, “Many of my top advisers and ten members of my cabinet were scouts.”
He went on to point out that not only was Secretary of State Rex Tillerson a scout, he served the organization as its former national president. Vice President Mike Pence was also a scout.
“Did President Obama ever come to a jamboree?” President Trump asked the group, noting that Obama was the only sitting president who never personally addressed the group’s annual jamboree. In fact, Obama missed the organization’s 100th anniversary, which was celebrated at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia in 2010, although he did send the scouts a brief videotaped message.
The crowd booed when Trump mentioned Obama’s name, before chanting, “We love Trump! We love Trump!”
Thousands of boy scouts awaiting arrival of Pres Trump at their National Jamboree in WV. pic.twitter.com/mauQnBdlq3
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) July 24, 2017
Because the Boy Scouts of America is chartered by Congress, every U.S. president is made an honorary president of the organization, which is strictly nonpartisan.
“The United States has no better citizens than its boy scouts,” said Trump, noting that as scouts, they’re “pledging to be great American patriots.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017
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