Donald Trump is not like other presidents. Trump and members of his administration are under investigation for possible collusion with Russia, he regularly makes sexist and racist remarks, and his obsession with how he’s perceived in the media is uncanny (just take a look at his tweets!). So, it’s not entirely surprising that Trump turned a nonpartisan gathering for children and teens, the National Scout Jamboree, into a political rally.
The National Scout Jamboree is an annual gathering of Boy Scouts around the country. In the past, presidents have attended the event and used it to celebrate citizenship, diversity, and community. Typically, they avoid discussing politics. But Trump isn’t typical, and in his 35-minute speech, Trump criticized the “fake media” and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, bragged about the size of the event, and insulted former President Barack Obama. Let’s recap.
He bragged about crowd size again.
Trump, obsessed with the size of his hands, ties, and crowds, used the event to draw attention to how big it was. “Boy, you have a lot of people here. The press will say it’s about 200 people. It looks like 45,000 people. You set a record today. You set a record.” He then mentioned it again later on in his speech. “I’m waving to people back there so small I can’t even see them. Man, this is a lot of people. Turn those cameras back there, please. That is so incredible. By the way, what do you think the chances are that this incredible massive crowd, record-setting, is going to be shown on television tonight? One percent or zero?”
He told the crowd he would fire the secretary of health and human services.
As the Senate moves forward to vote on whether or not to dismantle Obamacare and debate the American Healthcare Act, Trump told the scouts that he hoped Tom Price, secretary of health and human services, would be able to wrangle all the necessary votes to pass the bill. “By the way, are you going to get the votes? He better get them. He better get them. Oh, he better. Otherwise I’ll say, ‘Tom, you’re fired.’ I’ll get somebody.”
He spoke about the “fake media” and “fake news.”
After mentioning the crowd size again, Trump took his time to paint the media as biased and untrustworthy. “The fake media will say, ‘President Trump spoke’ – you know what is – ‘President Trump spoke before a small crowd of Boy Scouts today.’ That’s some – that is some crowd. Fake media. Fake news.”
He criticized former President Obama.
Obama, who took the brunt of hate from Trump during his time as president, continues to be a focal point of Trump’s mind. “By the way, just a question, did President Obama ever come to a Jamboree?” Trump asked. Obama recorded a message for the Jamboree in 2010 and met with Boy Scouts several times during his career.
Trump mentioned the election results . . . again.
Trump, who lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton and only won the electoral vote, decided it was time to refresh everyone’s memory again about the events on Nov. 8. “Do you remember that famous night on television, Nov. 8, where they said, these dishonest people, where they said, there is no path to victory for Donald Trump. They forgot about the forgotten people. . . . But you remember that incredible night with the maps, and the Republicans are red and the Democrats are blue, and that map was so red it was unbelievable. And they didn’t know what to say.”
Trump is so excited for the holidays, he brought up Christmas.
Trump brought up Christmas, which is five months away, to a group of teenagers who probably still write wish lists to their parents. “And by the way, under the Trump administration, you’ll be saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again when you go shopping, believe me. Merry Christmas. They’ve been downplaying that little beautiful phrase. You’re going to be saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again, folks.” As a reminder, Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, are Jewish Orthodox.
For the record, former presidents John F. Kennedy, Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama were all Boy Scouts. Trump, however, was not.