A few days after President Trump's nakedly partisan and colorful speech to the children and teens gathered in West Virginia for the Boy Scout National Jamboree, Michael Surbaugh, the head of Boy Scouts of America, issued an apology "to those in our Scouting family who were offended by the political rhetoric that was inserted." The Boy Scouts is a nonpartisan organization, he said, and "we sincerely regret that politics were inserted into the Scouting program." In a July 25 interview with The Wall Street Journal, Trump told a different version of events from the night before, according to a transcript published by Politico on Tuesday.
Trump told Wall Street Journal editor-in-chief Gerard Baker, Baker's deputy, and three political reporters that he drew the "biggest crowd they've ever had" at the Jamboree, then asked what the Journal interviewers thought. "I thought it was an interesting speech in the context of the Boy Scouts," one WSJ member replied, mentioning the "feedback from former Scouts." Trump asked if these Scouts liked the speech, and a reporter said the reaction "seemed mixed," drawing a laugh from Trump and an assurance that "they loved it" and there "was a standing ovation from the time I walked out on the stage." Trump continued:
The initial response to Trump's speech from the Boy Scouts was pretty bland, but if you're wondering why Surbaugh would lavish such praise on such an obviously controversial speech, according to Toronto Star Washington correspondent Daniel Dale, he didn't.
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