The head of the Boy Scouts officially apologized Thursday for a speech President Donald Trump delivered earlier this week that was peppered with political attacks, causing widespread outrage.
Michael Surbaugh, chief scout executive for the Boy Scouts of America, stated in an online letter published Thursday that he wanted to extended his honest apologies to his organization's members. "That was never our intent", Michael Surbaugh, whose title is chief Scout executive, wrote in a message posted online.
Trump's speech, part of a long tradition to invite the sitting US president to speak at the national event, veered into political territory quickly.
Surbaugh added that inviting Trump speak at the jamboree was not an endorsement of him or of his administration's policies and concluded, "W$3 e sincerely regret that politics were inserted into the Scouting program".
The Boy Scouts of America are sorry for the way President Trump behaved at their National Jamboree.
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'Is nothing safe?' said Jon Wolfsthal, a former aide to President Obama. "I haven't seen the statement from the Boy Scouts, so I can't comment any further than what I saw firsthand, and that was a lot of individuals, roughly 40 to 45,000, as reported, cheering the president on".
Boy Scouts of America originally responded to the backlash Tuesday with a statement distancing itself from the political nature of Trump's speech, but stopping short of criticizing or apologizing for it.
But Mr Stephenson, who was not in attendance at Mr Trump's speech, said the guidance was not followed impeccably. Some in the crowd booed.
"These character-building experiences have not diminished in recent days at the jamboree - Scouts have continued to trade patches, climb rock walls, and share stories about the day's adventures", he said. 'But for our Scouting family at home not able to see these real moments of Scouting, we know the past few days have been overshadowed by the remarks offered by the president of the United States'.
Many longtime Boy Scouts and leaders weighed in, saying Trump's speech was offensive and off base. Sen.
"There were some areas where perhaps they were not in compliance with what we instructed", he said.
Mr Stephenson was asked whether the Scouts would invite Mr Trump back to address the next national jamboree if he wins re-election. "That's beyond our pay grade regardless of who it is".