Donald Trump last week claimed a head of the Boy Scouts called him to praise the speech he delivered at their national jamboree. Then he said that the Mexican president also called him to compliment his US-Mexican border policies. Both the Boy Scouts and Mexico have denied the calls ever happened. The White House conceded that no calls happened but said President Trump did not lie.
President Trump’s speech at the Boy Scouts National Jamboree in West Virginia became controversial for being highly political. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal last week, Trump did not believe his speech was controversial and that the crowd got a mixed reaction, based on the full transcript published by Politico.
“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,” he said. “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. So there was — there was no mix.”
On Monday, President Trump said at a cabinet meeting that Mexican President Peña Nieto called him to praise his crack down on illegal immigration. “Even the president of Mexico called me,” he said. “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.”
The Boy Scouts said they are “unaware of any such call” while the foreign relations department of Mexico said Nieto “has not had any recent telephone communication with President Donald Trump,” as reported by The Guardian.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 3, 2017
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, insisted that Mr. Trump did not fabricate the stories, The New York Times reported. While there were no phone calls that occurred, the conversations happened in real life, she said.
“I wouldn’t say it was a lie — that’s a pretty bold accusation. The conversations took place, they just simply didn’t take place over a phone call, they happened in person.”
According to Sanders, “multiple members of the Boy Scouts leadership” indeed praised the US president after his speech. Then, Nieto told Trump during the G20 summit that over the past half year, there was a decline of 31 percent in the deportations of Mexicans from the US compared to the same period last year.
— Bloomberg Politics (@bpolitics) August 3, 2017
The admission that those phone calls did not happen tarnishes the president’s credibility, which is already in question after shifting statements on several matters in the past, including Trump’s involvement in his son’s meeting with a Russian lawyer before the election last year. The New York Times report further noted that this is not the first time Trump lied, and it only shows he is willing to bend the truth when it benefits him.
[Featured Image by Carolyn Kaster/AP Images]