BERKELEY, Calif. — President Donald Trump threatened to pull federal funding from UC Berkeley early Thursday morning in response to the campus protests of right-wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos’ speech.
More than a thousand people protested – some violently – and Yiannopoulos’ speech was canceled.
“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 morning.
It is not clear how much total the university receives from the Federal Government, but it received at least $370 million last year for research efforts, according to the university’s website.
Yiannopoulos, who was on a college speaking tour and had planned to speak about cultural appropriation, was removed from campus the campus out of public safety concerns Wednesday. He had been invited to speak there by the Berkeley College Republicans. Yiannopoulos called what happened “an expression of political violence.”
“While Yiannopoulos’ views, tactics and rhetoric are profoundly contrary to our own, we are bound by the Constitution, the law, our values and the campus’s Principles of Community to enable free expression across the full spectrum of opinion and perspective,” UC Berkeley said in a statement.
The Free Speech Movement started at the university in 1964 after students protested a ban on campus political activities.