Trump cuts loose in front of massive crowd at Boy Scouts’ Jamboree


President Trump drew a crowd of tens of thousands to a national gathering of Boy Scouts in West Virginia on Monday evening, where he hammered his political opponents and pressured Republicans in the Senate to repeal and replace ObamaCare. 

Media reports put the crowd size at 35,000, while Trump estimated about 45,000 were on hand.

{mosads}Trump said he was happy to escape the heated politics of Washington, but nonetheless took shots at the media, Democrats and even home-state Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.) on the eve of a critical vote on healthcare in the Senate.

Trump also invited former Scout and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price on stage at one point and jokingly told him that he’d be fired if the Senate doesn’t vote to move forward on debate to repeal ObamaCare on Tuesday.

“He better get [the votes],” Trump said. “Otherwise I’ll say, ‘Tom, you’re fired!’ He better get Sen. Capito to vote for it. Better get the other senators to vote for it, it’s time.”

Capito is one of several Republicans who has said she cannot vote to repeal ObamaCare without a replacement plan. 

Later, Trump asked the Boy Scouts if President Obama ever came to their national jamboree. The crowd seemed to boo the former president. (While Obama did not attend the event in person, he recorded a video message in 2010.) 

For Trump, the trip was a quick getaway from Washington, where his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner is meeting this week with Congressional investigators on Capitol Hill about Russian meddling in the 2016 election. 

The White House is also frustrated that with the August recess looming, the GOP-controlled Congress has failed to deliver a major legislative achievement for the president. The GOP efforts to repeal and replace ObamaCare appear hopelessly stalled in the Senate. 

But in West Virginia, Trump cut loose in front of an adoring crowd. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke came on stage in his Boy Scouts garb, where he was joined by Energy Secretary Rick Perry, another former Eagle Scout.

The president boasted that 10 members of his Cabinet are former scouts, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was once president of the national organization.

“Tonight 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,” Trump said.

“You know, I go to Washington and I see all these politicians, and I see the swamp and it’s not a good place,” he continued. “In fact, today I said, we ought to change it from the word ‘swamp’ to the word ‘cesspool’ or perhaps to the word ‘sewer,’ but it’s not good. Not good. And I see what’s going on. And believe me, I’d much rather be with you.”

Trump’s speech was repeatedly broken up by cheering and chants of “U.S.A.”

The president’s approval rating is historically low nationally, but he remains popular in the deep red states he carried in the 2016 election, such as West Virginia. 

There, Trump gleefully recounted his election victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

“What we did, in all fairness, is an unbelievable tribute to you and all of the other millions and millions of people that came out and voted [to] make America great again,” Trump said.

Tags Hillary Clinton Shelley Moore Capito

The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video