Speed Reads

You don't say

Trump implausibly claims Boy Scouts chief thanked him for 'the greatest speech that was ever made to them'

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:

And by the way, 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. And I got a call from the head of the Boy Scouts saying it was the greatest speech that was ever made to them, and they were very thankful. So there was — there was no mix. [Trump, to The Wall Street Journal, via Politico]

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.

"Senior Scouts source"? The year 2017 still has a few months to break new weirdness records.