Boy Scout leader apologizes for Trump’s political rhetoric

Evan Vucci

FILE- In this June 22, 2017, file photo, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, left, listens as President Donald Trump speaks during the “American Leadership in Emerging Technology” event in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Boy Scouts president Randall Stephenson told The Associated Press on Wednesday, July 26, in his first public comments on the furor over President Donald Trump's speech at the 2017 National Boy Scout Jamboree on Monday that he'd be “disingenuous” if he suggested he was surprised by the Republican president's comments. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — The Boy Scouts’ chief executive apologized Thursday to members of the scouting community who were offended by the aggressive political rhetoric in President Donald Trump’s recent speech to the Scouts’ national jamboree.

The apology came in a statement from Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh, three days after Trump’s speech to nearly 40,000 scouts and adults gathered in West Virginia.

Other U.S. presidents have delivered nonpolitical speeches at past jamborees. To the dismay of many parents and former scouts, Trump, a Republican, promoted his political agenda and derided his rivals, inducing some of the scouts in attendance to boo at the mention of Barack Obama, his Democratic predecessor.

“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,” Surbaugh said. “That was never our intent… We sincerely regret that politics were inserted into the Scouting program.”

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