President Trump stuck to what he knows best while entertaining thousands of Boy Scouts: boasting of the GOP’s 2016 election victory, threatening his cabinet’s job security and mingling with New York’s hottest at cocktail parties.
Trump on Monday encouraged a sea of at least 30,000 young scouts to not lose “momentum” during the annual National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia.
That meandering lesson involved the financial fall of “Levitt & Sons” president William Levitt, whose real estate empire kicked off the nation’s suburban growth spurt after World War II.
“I saw him at a cocktail party, and it was very sad because the hottest people in New York were at this party,” Trump recalled of Levitt, who died in 1994 at age 86.
At one point, Trump resisted running off-track with a possibly inappropriate tangent about Levitt’s life aboard his yacht.
“Sitting in the corner was a little, old man who was all by himself. Nobody was talking to him. I immediately recognized that man was the once-great William Leavitt of Levittown,” Trump said, saying he and the Brooklyn native were attending a Manhattan soiree hosted by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross.
Trump said that Levitt blamed his ruins on the loss of momentum after selling his multi-million dollar business.
The speech was not intended to be political, especially since the vast majority of scouts are unable to vote. Trump said he would put aside partisan bickering to teach the nation’s future leaders about “success.”
“Who the hell wants to speak about politics when I’m in front of the boy scouts,” Trump asked.
But Trump’s uplifting speech soon devolved into familiar territory as it began resembling his campaign-style rallies with repeated chants of “U.S.A.,” “We love Trump.”
Audible jeers could be heard as Trump slammed the press and the Affordable Care Act.
Trump issued a thinly-veiled threat to fire Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price should the Senate Republican fail to push forward his campaign promise to repeal “this terrible thing known as Obamacare.”
He also gave Sen. Shelley Moore-Capito (R-W.V.) a shout-out.
“You better get Sen. Capito to vote for it,” Trump told Price.
He also reminisced about beating Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in November, by recounting his electoral victory.
“Do you remember that incredible night with the maps,” Trump said toward the end of his speech. “And that map was so red, it was unbelievable.”
When asked if Trump’s speech veered too far toward politics, officials with the Boy Scouts of America maintained its non-partisan stance.
“The invitation for the sitting U.S. President to visit the National Jamboree is a long-standing tradition and is in no way an endorsement of any political party or specific policies,” the group said in a statement to Buzzfeed.
Trump never participated in the Boy Scout program while growing up in Queens but he made sure to bash his predecessor for not attending the jamboree.
“Did President Obama ever come to a Jamboree?” he asked, prompting a roaring sneer from the crowd. “The answer is no.”
Trump invited two Eagle Scouts on his cabinet to join him on stage at the Summit Bechtel National Scout Reserve: Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke in his Boy Scout regalia, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Price.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who is also an Eagle Scout, was absent from the Glen Jean event.