President Donald Trump is under fire from some for giving a political speech at the 2017 Boy Scout Jamboree. You can watch the speech at the Boy Scout rally below in full.
Trump was speaking to a Boy Scout jamboree of thousands of Scouts in West Virginia. It’s upsetting some parents and others that the president turned the speech into a political vent about his victory over Hillary Clinton, “fake news,” crowd sizes, and other such topics. He also criticized former President Barack Obama for not attending a similar Boy Scout Jamboree in person, even though Obama is a former Boy Scout, and he spoke about loyalty.
You can read a full transcript of the Trump speech here.
Others are criticizing some Trump critics online for comparing the speech and rally to a 1930s era Nazi Hitler Youth rally. Newsweek reported that children’s cheers at the event drew “comparisons between his rousing rhetoric and Nazi youth rallies from some liberal activists and journalists.” It was easy to find such comparisons on Twitter.
A sample of some of the Trump Boy Scouts criticism:
Some Trump supporters leapt to the president’s defense.
According to Newsweek, Trump was “the first sitting U.S. commander-in-chief to address the group since George W. Bush.” When Trump told the crowd, “Did President Obama ever come to a Jamboree?” Boy Scouts yelled: “Noooooooo!” Newsweek reported.
Technically, the rally was called the Boy Scouts of America 2017 National Scout Jamboree. Trump started off what CNN dubbed a “campaign-style rally” by saying, “I said, who the hell wants to speak about politics when I’m in front of the Boy Scouts?”
Trump said his cabinet contains 10 former Boy Scouts.
After withering criticism of the speech online, the Boy Scouts released a statement stressing the organization is non-partisan and doesn’t advocate any “position, product, service, political candidate or philosophy,” CNN reported. “The sitting US president serves as the BSA’s honorary president. It is our longstanding custom to invite the US president to the National Jamboree,” the organization stressed, according to CNN.
The Washington Post reported that past presidents steered away from politics when speaking to the event. For example, FDR spoke about good citizenship and Harry Truman about fellowship, the newspaper reported.