Boy Scouts apologise for Trump's speech

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Media caption,

Donald Trump delivered a speech to remember to the Boy Scouts of America

The chief scout of the Boy Scouts of America has apologised for the remarks made by President Donald Trump at the group's national event this week.

Over 30,000 people attending the event, where Mr Trump promoted his agenda and criticised his political rivals.

Michael Surbaugh says the president's invitation was customary.

"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."

He went on to say how the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) have tried to avoid taking political positions since its creation.

"We sincerely regret that politics were inserted into the Scouting programme," he said.

He added: "We teach youth to become active citizens, to participate in their government, respect the variety of perspectives and to stand up for individual rights."

During Mr Trump's remarks in West Virginia, he assailed his former opponent Hillary Clinton, touted his election victory, and railed against the "fake news" media.

"Who the hell wants to speak about politics?" Mr Trump asked the audience, before beginning his remarks.

Many parents and members of the Scout community criticised the highly-politicised nature of the speech that followed.

Image source, AFP
Image caption,
The whoops and hollers ran contrary to some parents' views of boy scout values

On Wednesday, BSA president Randall Stephenson, told AP News that the group had been concerned that Mr Trump may say something controversial during his speech.

But they felt obliged to issue an invitation to him, as they have done previously for every sitting US president, he said.

"If I suggested I was surprised by the president's comments, I would be disingenuous," said Mr Stephenson.