The Boy Scouts of America on Thursday apologized for President’s Trump’s politically-charged speech to kids at the youth organization’s annual gathering this week.
“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,” “Chief Scout Executive” Michael Surbaugh wrote on Scoutingwire.
“The invitation for the sitting U.S. President to visit the National Jamboree is a long-standing tradition that has been extended to the leader of our nation that has had a Jamboree during his term since 1937. It is in no way an endorsement of any person, party or policies. For years, people have called upon us to take a position on political issues, and we have steadfastly remained non-partisan and refused to comment on political matters.”
“We sincerely regret that politics were inserted into the Scouting program.”
Trump used his speech in front of 40,000 young men at the 2017 National Boy Scout Jamboree on Monday to brag about his election and slam the media and his Democratic opponents — at one point inducing boos for his predecessor, President Barack Obama.
“By the way, just a question,” Trump asked. “Did President Obama ever come to a Jamboree?”
Many of the scouts then booed the former president — himself a former Boy Scout — and chanted, “We love Trump.”
The organization faced immediate backlash from families and former scouts, who flooded the group’s Facebook page demanding an apology.
“As of this moment, still awaiting a statement denouncing the President’s speech, and his attempt to turn the BSA into the Trump Youth,” wrote Colorado resident Thomas Bailey, who said he was an Eagle Scout.
Boy Scouts president Randall Stephenson on Wednesday admitted he expected Trump to make a controversial speech, but felt obliged to invite him out of respect for his office.