"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," Boy Scouts of America Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh said in a statement Thursday in the wake of outrage over President Trump's speech days earlier at the National Jamboree. Surbaugh said the Scouts didn't know Trump was going to talk politics and "sincerely regret" that he made his speech political. Trump, apparently, agreed. "Who the hell wants to speak about politics when I'm in front of the Boy Scouts," CNN quotes the president as saying during Monday's speech.
Nevertheless, Trump went on to—in front of approximately 40,000 Boy Scouts—call the Affordable Care Act a "horrible thing ... that's really hurting us," brag at length about his election victory, bash the media, promise "billions and billions and billions" in additional military funding, and more. NPR reports the Boys Scouts were condemned by parents and former scouts for turning the National Jamboree into a "political rally." In his statement, Surbaugh noted that presidents have been invited to speak to the Boy Scouts for 80 years, and Trump's invitation wasn't an endorsement of his policies. Sarah Huckabee Sanders saw no problem with Trump's speech, saying it was "one of the most energetic crowds" he's had. "I saw nothing but roughly 40-45,000 Boy Scouts cheering the president on throughout his remarks," she said Thursday.