Violent UC-Berkeley protest prompts Trump warning to university
WASHINGTON — After violent demonstrations at the University of California-Berkeley prompted the cancellation of a speech by a right-wing commentator, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to threaten to withhold federal funding from institutions that fail to guarantee free-speech rights.
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
“If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS?” Trump tweeted Thursday.
The president’s comment on the violent protest at the university that prevented the planned appearance Wednesday by Milo Yiannopoulos, a Brietbart.com contributor and self-professed provocateur, drew a quick response from UC-Berkeley.
In a statement Thursday, university spokesman Dan Mogulof blamed the violence on non-students who “infiltrated a crowd of peaceful students.” While the administration disagrees strongly with Yiannopoulos and his values, said Mogulof, “We are now, and will remain in the future, completely committed to free speech as essential to our educational mission and a vital component of our identity at UC-Berkeley.”
Statement from Milo