Trump to Scouts: Who the Hell Wants to Speak About Politics?

President Donald Trump used a speech to the National Boy Scout Jamboree in Beaver, W.Va., Monday (July 24) to attack the news media, politicians and Washington.

That is according to a transcript of his remarks supplied by the White House.

"Who the hell wants to speak about politics when I’m in front of the Boy Scouts? Right?," he said to the scouts after opening his speech with a veiled reference to his accusation that the media underreported the size of his inaugural audience, saying: "The press will say it’s about 200 people. It looks like about 45,000 people," and saying that "[t]onight, we put aside all of the policy fights in Washington, D.C., you’ve been hearing about with the fake news and all of that."

But while he signaled it was not a night to speak about politics, he could not help talking about it anyway.

"You know, I go to Washington and I see all these politicians and I see the swamp," he said. "And it’s not a good place. In fact today I said we ought to change it from the word swamp to the word cesspool or, perhaps, to the word sewer."

He was referring to a recent tweet aimed at the mainstream media and politicians. "But it’s not good. Not good. And I see what’s going on, and believe me I’d much rather be with you. That I can tell you."

The president could not help but return to his criticism of TV and crowd size, saying: "And by the way, where are our Indiana Scouts tonight?  [Applause.] I wonder if the television cameras will follow you. They don’t like doing that when they see these massive crowds. They don’t like doing that."

And then again later: "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? The fake media will say: President Trump spoke before a small crowd of Boy Scouts today."

And while he said it was not a time to speak about politics, he attacked Hillary Clinton, spent a good deal of time talking about vote counts in the election, and characterized Obamacare as a horrible thing that needs killing, even joking about threatening to fire HHS Secretary Tom Price if he didn’t round up the votes to do so.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.