Only Donald Trump could screw up a speech to the Boy Scouts – and then keep the debacle going for days and days.
Early last week, the president addressed the Boy Scouts of America National Scout Jamboree, and in the absence of any impulse control, Trump treated the children’s gathering like a campaign rally in support of himself. In response to the ensuing controversy, the head of the Boy Scouts issued a public apology for Trump’s inappropriate behavior, adding, “We sincerely regret that politics were inserted into the Scouting program.”
Nevertheless, when the president sat down with the Wall Street Journal last week – Politico published a transcript yesterday – Trump could hardly contain how pleased he was with the reaction to his remarks.
“That was a standing ovation from the time I walked out to the time I left, and for five minutes after I had already gone. […]
“I got a call from the head of the Boy Scouts saying it was the greatest speech that was ever made to them, and they were very thankful.”
And that’s where the story gets even stranger. According to a report in Time magazine, officials with the Boy Scouts are “unaware of any call from national leadership placed to the White House” in response to the president’s speech.
Similarly, a source from the organization told the New York Daily News, “We are not aware of any calls from national [Boy Scouts of America] leadership to the White House.”
And that leaves some curious possibilities.
Maybe BSA leaders called the president and the organization is now, for reasons that are unclear, lying about it.
Maybe someone pretending to be with the Boy Scouts called Trump to tell him how awesome he is, and he was fooled by a prank.
Or maybe the president just blurted out another ridiculous, self-aggrandizing falsehood in order to feel better about himself.
Given what we’ve seen from Trump, it’s pretty easy to look at that third option as the likely explanation.