President Trump sent a tweet on Thursday morning threatening the University of California at Berkeley with a loss of federal funds over violent protests that shut down a speech by the well-known conservative Milo Yiannopoulos on Wednesday.
If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view - NO FEDERAL FUNDS?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2017
The protests on Wednesday, which included fires, several explosions, and smashed windows, were carried live on some national-news networks. Mr. Yiannopoulos’s planned speech was his final appearance scheduled in a controversial campus tour. Read more about what happened.
President Trump is famous for his stream-of-consciousness online observations in the 6 a.m. hour, and many of his tweets do not end up aligning with federal action. But in one speech during his campaign, Mr. Trump did take on a similar issue.
“In the past few decades, political correctness — oh, what a terrible term — has transformed our institutions of higher education from ones that fostered spirited debate to a place of extreme censorship, where students are silenced for the smallest of things,” he said in the October speech. “You say a word somewhat differently, and all of a sudden you’re criticized — sometimes viciously. We will end the political correctness and foster free and respectful dialogue.”
Here’s a Chronicle analysis of what that effort could look like.