Politics ESSENTIAL WASHINGTON

Here's our look at the Trump administration and the rest of Washington:

White House

Boy Scouts chief apologizes for president's 'political rhetoric' at national Jamboree. Trump won't

 (AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB)
(AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB)

President Trump won't apologize for a surprisingly political speech this week to Boy Scouts that provoked a backlash for his attacks on his predecessor, his election rival, dissident Republicans and the news media.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders delivered that word on Thursday, just after a top executive of the Boy Scouts of America issued an apology on behalf of the organization for allowing the "political rhetoric" to occur during Trump's address Monday evening at the National Scout Jamboree held in West Virginia.  

Michael Surbaugh, the organization's chief executive, in a statement extended his "sincere apologies to those in our Scouting family who were offended by the political rhetoric that was inserted into the jamboree."

He noted that the group's invitation to the president to speak was in keeping with a long-standing tradition since 1937; eight of 11 incumbent presidents have attended.

But, Surbaugh wrote, "we have steadfastly remained non-partisan and refused to comment on political matters. We sincerely regret that politics were inserted into the Scouting program."

At the White House, however, Sanders indicated that neither she nor Trump saw any reason to apologize, or considered his remarks in any way out of line. 

"I was at that event and I saw nothing but roughly 40,000 to 45,000 Boy Scouts cheering the president on throughout his remarks," Sanders said.

"I think they were pretty excited that he was there and happy to hear him speak to them," she added.

Sanders said she had not seen the statement from the Boy Scouts chief. 

During his rambling 38-minute speech to the Scouts in Glen Jean, W.Va., Trump criticized Hillary Clinton and President Obama and singled out congressional Republicans who were not in lockstep with him on healthcare.

He got much applause and supportive chants from his audience, and even credited the Scouts -- who are too young to vote -- for being among the millions who elected him. But almost immediately, the Boy Scouts organization was inundated with protests from former Scouts, parents and others angered by the president's partisan words. 

Latest updates

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
80°