Trump’s ‘greatest speech ever’: we didn’t call it that, Boy Scouts say

Mexico also denies US president’s claim that it called to praise his immigration policies

Boy Scouts jamboree: the organisation apologised for any offence after Donald Trump’s speech on July 24th. Photograph:Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty

Boy Scouts jamboree: the organisation apologised for any offence after Donald Trump’s speech on July 24th. Photograph:Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty

 

The president of Mexico and the Boy Scouts of America have denied Donald Trump’s claims that he received calls from them praising his immigration policies and speech-making abilities.

On Monday the US leader claimed that Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, had given him “the ultimate compliment” by phoning to say fewer people were crossing the US-Mexico border.

Last week, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump claimed the “head of the Boy Scouts” had called him to describe his speech at their national jamboree as “the greatest speech that was ever made to them”.

But on Wednesday Peña Nieto and the Boy Scouts said they had not made those calls to the president.

The president of Mexico called me. They said very few people are coming, because they know they’re not going to get through our border, which is the ultimate compliment

Trump claimed on Monday: “The president of Mexico called me. They said their southern border . . . very few people are coming, because they know they’re not going to get through our border, which is the ultimate compliment.”

Asked about the alleged call, Mexico’s foreign-relations department said Peña Nieto “has not had any recent telephone communication with President Donald Trump”.

Days earlier, in the WSJ interview, Trump said his speech to the Boy Scouts in Virginia – partisan, disjointed and often rambling – had been praised by the organisation.

I got a call from the head of the Boy Scouts saying it was the greatest speech that was ever made to them, and they were very thankful

“I got a call from the head of the Boy Scouts saying it was the greatest speech that was ever made to them, and they were very thankful,” Trump said.

The Boy Scouts told Associated Press on Wednesday: “We are unaware of any such call.”

The organisation said that neither of its two top leaders – its president, Randall Stephenson, and chief scout executive, Mike Surbaugh – had called the president.

Surbaugh had actually apologised for Trump’s speech – which the president used to attack Democrats, healthcare and “fake media” – on July 27th.

“I want to extend my sincere apologies to those in our scouting family who were offended by the political rhetoric that was inserted into the jamboree,” Surbaugh wrote on the Boy Scouts’ website. “We sincerely regret that politics were inserted into the scouting program.”

© Guardian