President Trump didn’t pull punches Monday when he addressed the 2017 National Scout Jamboree, taking jabs at errant Republican lawmakers, the news media and President Obama.
Mr. Trump used most of his speech to a huge and friendly crowd of scouts and parents in Glen Jean, West Virginia, to laude the virtues of Boy Scouts. But he couldn’t help but make some unflattering comparisons with the creatures and culture in Washington.
As he began to recite the Boy Scout Law, Mr. Trump didn’t get further than the second of twelve attributes: “A Scout is: Trustworthy, loyal — we could use some more loyalty, I’ll tell you that.”
He didn’t elaborate, but he could have been referring to Senate Republicans who have wavered on the repeal of Obamacare or to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who’s on the outs with the president for recusing himself form the Russia investigation.
Mr. Trump called out Republican lawmakers for so far failing to keep their promise to repeal Obamacare.
“After seven years of trying to repeal and replace and Obamacare, they better do it,” said Mr. Trump.
He joked with Health and Human Secretary Tom Price, who joined him on stage, saying that he’d better get the votes lined up for a key Senate vote Tuesday on a repeal-and-replace bill.
“He better get them. Otherwise, I’ll say, ‘Tom, you’re fired.’ I’ll get somebody else,” said Mr. Trump, reviving his catch phrase from the reality TV show “The Apprentice.”
The president said he went to Washington and found that it was worse than a swamp, as he described it on the campaign trail. “It’s a cesspool or a sewer,” he told the scouts.
“It’s not good, not good,” said Mr. Trump. “I see what’s going on and I’d much rather be with you. That I can tell you.”
The scouts and parents returned the president’s affection. At one point the crowd began chanting: “We love Trump.”
The president also told the massive crowd that the news media likely would not accurately report the level of support he was shown at the jamboree.
Mr. Trump predicted that the news media would report it was a small crowd. “Fake media. Fake news,” he said to applause.
When the president asked whether Mr. Obama ever attended a National Jamboree, the crowd roared.
“I just want to know,” said Mr. Trump. “The answer is no. But we’ll be back.”
The president noted the large number of former Boy Scouts serving in the administration, including 10 on his Cabinet.
“‘The United States has no better citizens than its Boy Scouts,” he said. “Boy Scout values are American values and great Boy Scouts became great, great Americans.”
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