Earlier this week, President Trump spoke at the National Boy Scout Jamboree. Despite being surrounded by children, he stuck to his roots and spent the majority of the speech disparaging President Obama and bragging about his November victory.
Not surprisingly, a number of parents whose sons attended the Jamboree were not pleased with the president’s remarks, and they made it known with messages posted on the Boy Scouts Facebook page.
On Thursday, the Chief Scout Executive for the organization, Michael Surbaugh, addressed the controversy and published a lengthy statement on ScoutingWire, “the official blog of the scouting movement,” apologizing for the incident.
After first listing the numerous activities scouts participated in during the 10-day event, Surbaugh went on to say that those “real moments of Scouting” had been “overshadowed by the remarks offered by the President of the United States.”
He then apologized to those who were offended by Trump’s words.
‘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. 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.
‘While we live in a challenging time in a country divided along political lines, the focus of Scouting remains the same today as every day.’
Surbaugh’s statement comes at an interesting time. On Wednesday, the president of the Boy scouts of America, Randall Stephenson, was accused of refusing to publicly apologize for Trump’s statement because he is looking to make a deal of his own.
Stephenson, who also serves as the chairman and chief executive of AT&T, is currently seeking the approval of Trump administration regulators for the $85 billion purchase of Time Warner
Stephenson did tell the press on Thursday that he wished Trump “hadn’t been political” during his speech. However, he didn’t go so far as to apologize for the offensive remarks, perhaps because he didn’t want to jeopardize his potential deal. It looks like Surbaugh’s statement will have to be enough for those who were offended by the president’s address.
Watch the speech that got so many people talking below, available via YouTube.
Featured image via SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images.