This week, Trump followed the tradition of several of his oval office predecessors when he gave a speech at the annual “Boy Scout Jamboree”. There wasn’t anything traditional, however, about the things he chose to say.
This long standing invitation has never been offered with political intentions, or to make a stand on either side of the political spectrum. It’s more of a way to encourage these young men to take the life skills and values they learned through scouts with them into adulthood.
At the beginning, it seemed Trump would follow suit with his words. Shortly into his speech he even said, “Who the hell wants too talk about politics in front of a bunch of boy scouts?” (Yes, he said “hell”.) Apparently, he does. He went on to bash Obama and Clinton, talk about the Obamacare repeal, complain about “fake news”, and, of course, praise himself on his campaign and victory. Everyone should have seen that one coming. Every speech and interview he gives includes the whole “everybody said I couldn’t get to 270” spiel where he brags about which states he won in, etc., etc.
Not surprisingly, much criticism followed. But, the speech itself is not what compelled me to write this. It’s what happened after people began to express how inappropriate they considered his subject matter to be.
A couple of days later, Trump did an interview with the Wall Street Journal. The subject of the controversial speech came up. He responded by saying this was, again, the result of “fake media” coming after him without reason or cause. No one thought his speech was inappropriate. As a matter of fact, the POTUS added, the “head of the boy scouts called him and said it was the greatest speech that was ever made to them and they were very thankful.” His exact words. The only problem with that was the next day when the Chief Scout Executive issued a formal statement denying a phone call was ever made.
During the WH press briefing the next day, Sara Huckabee (WH Press Secretary) spoke about the false statement. She said Trump was actually talking about individual conversations with several scout leaders at the event who praised him. She went on to say that the POTUS didn’t lie.
So, it wasn’t a PHONE CALL from the HEAD OF THE SCOUTS. It was IN PERSON CONVERSATIONS with some SCOUT LEADERS present at the jamboree. And, they didn’t actually say it was “THE GREATEST SPEECH EVER MADE TO THEM”, but they did PRAISE HIS PERFORMANCE.
Can someone explain to me how this can be considered “not a lie”?!