US PRESIDENT DONALD Trump has hit out at one member of his cabinet and jokingly threatened to fire another.
Trump used Twitter to criticise attorney general Jeff Sessions again today, a day after giving a speech to Boy Scouts that touched on Obamacare, fake news and alluded to orgies on a yacht.
Speaking at the National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, Trump jokingly threatened to fire his Health Secretary Tom Price and hit out at his predecessor Barack Obama over Obamacare, which he had earlier in a speech in the White House called “death”.
Trump said of Price, who was on the stage with him:
Hopefully he’s going to get the votes tomorrow to start our path toward killing this horrible thing known as Obamacare.
“By the way, you gonna get the votes? He better get ‘em,” Trump said, adding: “Otherwise, I’ll say: Tom, you’re fired.”
The comment drew laughs from the crowd and Trump gave Price a friendly pat on the shoulder, suggesting he’d been joking. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she’d taken the comment that way as well.
While Trump had started by saying “Who the hell wants to speak about politics in front of Boy Scouts?”, his speech became more like a campaign rally in front of 24,000 children and 16,000 adults.
Trump is the eighth president to attend the National Scout Jamboree, which is typically held every four years. Obama did not attend during his two terms, although he addressed a 100th anniversary event in 2010 by video.
He hit out at Obama for not attending.
“By the way, just a question, did President Obama ever come to a jamboree?
“And we’ll be back. We’ll be back. The answer is no, but we’ll be back.”
Trump took time to hit out at the “fake media”, saying that the size of the crowd would be under-reported and said that the “incredible, massive, record-setting” crowd would not be reported by the media. The speech was carried live by CNN.
As he recited parts of the Scout oath, he paused at the word “loyalty”.
“We could use some more loyalty, I’ll tell you that,” he mused.
Trump then told a long story about real-estate mogul William Levitt and the “interesting” activities he engaged in on his yacht.
He went out and bought a big yacht, and he had a very…interesting life. I won’t go on any more than that because you’re Boy Scouts, so I’m not going to tell you what he did.
“Should I tell you? Should I tell you?
“Oh, you’re Boy Scouts, but you know life. You know life. So — look at you. Who would think this is the Boy Scouts, right?”
Levitt was a noted supporter of segregation and refused to integrate his developments. He refused to sell houses to black people.
While the reaction to the speech on the ground was one of raucous support, drawing numerous chants of “USA” and “We love Trump”, reaction afterwards has been less supportive.
The Boy Scouts of America Facebook page has been inundated with comments from parents and former scouts condemning the President.
On his own Twitter, Trump resumed his attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions, calling his onetime ally “VERY weak” in pursuing intelligence leaks and for failing to go after former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton over her email.
Trump’s latest Twitter salvo followed a report in the Washington Post that the president and his advisers have discussed replacing Sessions, one of the Republican billionaire’s earliest supporters.
“Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are E-mails &DNC server) & Intel leakers!” Trump tweeted.
Trump has openly criticised Sessions for recusing himself from overseeing a federal probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to meddle in the 2016 US presidential elections.
Sessions has said he has no plans to resign.
With AP and AFP reporting