The Boy Scouts of America says it anticipated President Donald Trump would spark controversy with a politically tinged speech at its national jamboree in West Virginia but felt obliged to invite him out of respect for his office.
Boy Scouts president Randall Stephenson tells The Associated Press in his first public comments on the furor over Trump’s speech he’d be “disingenuous” if he suggested he was surprised by the Republican president’s comments. Stephenson also is chief executive officer of AT&T and spoke to the AP by phone on Wednesday.
Other U.S. presidents have addressed Boy Scouts jamborees with speeches steering clear of partisan politics.
Trump promoted his political agenda and assailed his enemies in his speech on Monday. He induced some scouts to boo at the mention of Barack Obama, his Democratic predecessor.