In the latest twist in the Trump/Boy Scout saga, the organization is pushing back after President Trump said the head of the Boy Scouts of America called his recent National Jamboree speech “the greatest speech ever made to them.”
Now the Boy Scouts are saying that’s not true.
“The Chief Scout Executive’s message to the Scouting community speaks for itself,” a Boy Scout official told Time magazine on Wednesday, referring to a recent apology chief scout executive Michael Surbaugh made after Trump’s speech.
The group told multiple news outlets that they were unaware of any call made to the White House after the speech, and that they certainly didn’t call to tell the president he gave the greatest speech in the history of National Jamboree speeches.
Trump lied about the BOY SCOUTS. A senior Scouts source says there was no call at all, let alone a call telling him his speech was the best.— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) August 1, 2017
Each president is invited to speak at the National Jamboree, which is held every four years. Usually, presidents talk about themes including honor, hard work, and perseverance. However, Trump’s speech was atypical in many regards: He slammed his political opponents, repeatedly talked about his election victory, and threatened to fire one of his Cabinet members.
In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, reporters questioned Trump on the “mixed” reaction his speech received.
Trump, reportedly annoyed at the question, insisted, “there was no mix”:
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.
The latest statement from the Boy Scouts refers to the phone call that Trump told the Wall Street Journal about, and refers again to Surbaugh’s apology, expressing regret that Trump’s speech inserted politics into what was supposed to be a nonpartisan event.
“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,” Surbaugh’s statement reads. “We sincerely regret that politics were inserted into the Scouting program.”