President Donald Trump spoke Monday night at the 2017 Boy Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, where he bragged about his victory over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 campaign and bashed the media.
“Who the hell wants to talk about politics when I’m in front of the Boy Scouts?” Trump asked the crowd sarcastically at the beginning of his speech. But that’s exactly what he did, reliving Election Night 2016, or as he called it, “that famous night on television.”
“You remember that incredible night with the maps,” Trump said, noting that the maps were “so red” that the pundits who had expected a Clinton victory were speechless.
He continued to recount his electoral college victories, explaining he decided to visit Maine, a state that splits its electoral votes, in an effort to pick one up because he thought it would help him win.
“But then Wisconsin came in,” he said of election night. “Many many years. Michigan came in. And we worked hard there. You know, my opponent didn’t work hard there. She [Clinton] was told she was gonna win Michigan and I said, wait a minute the car industry is going to move to Mexico.”
“We’d go to Wisconsin, and we had these massive crowds,” Trump continued. “What we did in all fairness is an unbelievable tribute to you and all the millions and millions that came out to Make America Great Again.”
While he offered platitudes and words of encouragement to the scouts in attendance, the speech felt more like a campaign rally than an address to a children’s organization.
“Under the Trump administration, you’ll be saying Merry Christmas again when you go shopping,” Trump said.
He lamented how his predecessor Barack Obama never visited a Boy Scout Jamboree during his tenure — which elicited a series of “boos” from the crowd. Obama didn’t visit the event, but did record a video for it in 2010, according to The Hill.
He derided the media for what he said would be inevitable failures to report his crowd sizes, even as networks and reporters on Twitter were showing it.
He also incorporated an anecdote about real estate developer William Levitt, and their encounter at a cocktail party, where he told Trump he had lost his “momentum.” Trump appeared to be using that as an inspiration for the Boy Scouts to not lose their own momentum.
Trump said he wanted to stay away from the policy fights brewing in Washington D.C. Although he made a reference about the need for “more loyalty,” he did not mention anything about the Russia investigation, including his son-in-law Jared Kushner’s closed-door meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee, or whether he will sign pending legislation on Russian sanctions. He did, however, reiterate the need for the Senate to repeal Obamacare — the chamber is slated to vote on a motion to proceed to debate on Tuesday — calling his Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price to the stage and seemingly joking that he would fire him if he was unable to round up the necessary votes to pass it.