The Head of the Boy Scouts Apologizes for Donald Trump

“We sincerely regret that politics were inserted into the Scouting program.”

Andrea Hanks/ZUMA

It’s come to this: The Boy Scouts of America is forced to make excuses for what the president of the United States told an audience of children. 

After initially attempting to distance itself from President Donald Trump’s roundly-criticized speech at the Boy Scouts Jamboree, the chief executive of the organization on Thursday issued a strong statement expressing regret over the controversial remarks, which included political attacks on the president’s opponents and those who threaten his legislative agenda. 

“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,” Michael Surbaugh wrote. “That was never our intent.”

“We sincerely regret that politics were inserted into the Scouting program,” the statement continued. “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.

Previous presidents have traditionally used the gathering to discuss the virtues of the youth organization, such as honor and respect. Instead, Trump on Monday assailed Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, ranted about election night, and threatened Republican lawmakers unwilling to support the party’s harried attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Many likened the president’s rhetoric to his inflammatory campaign rally speeches, which occasionally drew incidents of violence.