The head of Boy Scouts of America issued an official apology Thursday for the “political rhetoric” included in the speech President Trump delivered to scouts earlier this week.
"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," Michael Surbaugh, chief scout executive, said in a statement.
“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,” he continued.
The atmosphere in the crowd gathered in West Virginia was reminiscent of campaign rallies – as was Trump’s speech.
Trump railed against ObamaCare, joked about firing Health and Human Secretary Tom Price if he failed to get the votes to repeal it and poked at former President Barack Obama for not attending past jamborees.
While he did not mention her by name, Trump also mocked his “opponent” Hillary Clinton for her campaign tactics.
While the White House faced criticism for the political nature of the speech, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended the appearance on Thursday -- saying those attending were cheering and excited Trump was there.
The Boy Scouts, in an earlier statement, on Tuesday said the invitation to speak is given to a president "out of respect for the Office of the President of the United States.”