Donald Trump

Jonathan Ernst/Getty

President Donald Trump hit back at a suggestion that a raucous speech last
week to a gathering of Boy Scouts
received a “mixed”

Trump made the remarks during an interview with The Wall Street
Journal, the transcript of which was obtained by

During a back-and-forth with the Journal reporters in the room,
Trump asked what they thought of his appearance before the Boy
Scouts, which he said was the “biggest crowd they’ve ever had.”

“I thought it was an interesting speech in the context of the Boy
Scouts,” one reporter said.

“Right,” Trump replied.

“They seemed to get a lot of feedback from former scouts and —”

Trump then asked if they’d liked it, to which the reporter
responded, “It seemed mixed.”

Trump disagreed with that assessment. “They loved it. It wasn’t —
there was no mix. That was a standing —”

“You got a good reaction inside the arena, that’s right,” the
reporter said.

“From the time I walked out on the stage — because I know,” Trump
continued. “And by the way, I’d be the first to admit mixed. I’m
a guy that will tell you mixed. There was no mix there. That was
a standing ovation from the time I walked out to the time I left,
and for five minutes after I had already gone. There was no mix.”

Trump’s speech to the Boy Scouts drew criticism for taking on an
increasingly political tilt
, as the president took shots at
the media, former President Barack Obama, and 2016 opponent
Hillary Clinton.

“Boy, you have a lot of people here,” Trump said at the beginning
of the rally on July 24. “The press will say it’s about 200
people. It looks like about 45,000 people.”

“I said, ‘Who the hell wants to speak about politics when I’m in
front of the Boy Scouts,'” Trump said.

However, he did just that for the duration of the speech.

“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. 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.”

Trump also criticized Obama, who previously turned down an
invitation to speak at the Jamboree in protest of the Boy Scouts’
policy of disallowing gay members and leaders from joining its
ranks in 2013.

As he frequently does, Trump went on to revisit the events of
Election Day in 2016.

“Do you remember that famous night on television, November 8,
where they said, these dishonest people, where they said, ‘There
is no path to victory for Donald Trump’?” Trump said while
pointing at members of the media. “Do you remember that
incredible night with the maps, and the Republicans are red and
the Democrats are blue, and that map was so red it was
unbelievable, and they didn’t know what to say.”

Trump continued praising his Boy Scouts appearance during the
interview with the Journal, saying to the reporters in the room
that he received 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. So there was — there was no mix,”
he said.

Boy Scouts officials pushed back on Trump’s claim,
according to TIME
, which said the organization was “unaware
of any call from national leadership placed to the White House”
about Trump’s speech.

The organization pointed to a statement released last week in
response to backlash over Trump’s speech: “The Chief Scout
Executive’s message to the Scouting community speaks for itself,”
the organization said.

That statement came as the Boy Scouts of America quickly
distanced itself from Trump’s political rhetoric.

“The Boy Scouts of America is wholly nonpartisan and does not
promote any one position, product, service, political candidate,
or philosophy,” the organization said in a statement. “The
invitation for the sitting US 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.

An official with the organization also apologized for the
“political rhetoric” in Trump’s speech.

“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,” said Chief Scout Executive Michael
Surbaugh. “That was never our intent.”