Tags: Donald Trump | john mclaughlin | donald trump | boy scouts | speech | jamboree

McLaughlin on Boy Scouts Speech: 'Third-World Authoritarian's Youth Rally'

Image: McLaughlin on Boy Scouts Speech: 'Third-World Authoritarian's Youth Rally'
President Donald Trump waves to the crowd of scouts at the 2017 National Boy Scout Jamboree at the Summit in Glen Jean, WV, July 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

By    |   Tuesday, 25 Jul 2017 07:07 PM

Former CIA Acting Director John McLaughlin said Tuesday that President Donald Trump's speech to the Boy Scouts on Monday felt like a "third-world authoritarian's youth rally."

"It just gave me the creeps," McLaughlin, 75, who served under former President George W. Bush, told Business Insider. "It was like watching the late Venezuelan [President Hugo] Chavez.

"You want to signal to young people the concept in democracy of loyal opposition, of remaining loyal to government," which doesn't exist in dictatorships, he said.

But Trump, McLaughlin said, "was attacking his predecessor for no good reason, and his competitor in the last election.

"He was showing disloyalty to his subordinates . . . ranting on about financial stories in New York."

McLaughin was among several Republicans who slammed Trump for his comments before nearly 40,000 Boy Scouts at their annual National Jamboree in Glen Jean, W.V.

The president lashed out at Republican senators, slammed the "fake news" media — as well as Democratic President Barack Obama and 2016 opponent Hillary Clinton — drawing applause from the Scouts at some points.

"Who the hell wants to speak about politics when I'm in front of the Boy Scouts?" Trump began before launching into his attacks.

He even quipped that he would fire Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price if the Senate did not pass healthcare legislation.

Trump basically told the Boy Scouts, "don't respect your opponents, only believe me, and cheer for me," McLaughlin told Business Insider.

"What message is this giving to young people?"

The Boy Scouts later Monday distanced themselves from Trump's comments.

"The Boy Scouts of America is wholly nonpartisan and does not promote any one position, product, service, political candidate, or philosophy," the organization told Business Insider in a statement.

"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 Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Former CIA Acting Director John McLaughlin said Tuesday that President Donald Trump's speech to the Boy Scouts on Monday felt like a "third-world authoritarian's youth rally."
john mclaughlin, donald trump, boy scouts, speech, jamboree
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2017-07-25
Tuesday, 25 Jul 2017 07:07 PM
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