Upset that conservatives continue to be silenced, banned, and even attacked on America’s increasingly Left-wing college campuses, POTUS Donald Trump said on Saturday he’s prepared to fire a financial warning shot across their bows.
Speaking to a packed, enthusiastic crowd at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland, the president said he was preparing to sign an executive order denying federal funds to any college or university that did not protect all students’ First Amendment rights to free speech.
“Today I am proud to announce that I will be very soon signing an executive order requiring colleges and universities to support free speech if they want federal research dollars,” the president said after bringing Hayden Williams on stage with him, who was sucker punched by a Left-wing activist at the University of California-Berkeley last month.
As reported by The National Sentinel, police at UC-Berkley arrested Zachary Greenberg, 28, about 1 p.m. Friday after a judge issued an arrest warrant for the February 19 attack on Williams, 26.
Several videos of the attack show Greenberg verbally berating Williams before punching him in the face, then physically assaulting him.
Williams wasn’t a student at the university. He was there as a field representative for The Leadership Institute, a conservative organization that was on campus to recruit members. Reports said while staffing a table, he was approached by two men who, he said, were antagonistic towards him after reacting to his signs.
“The recruitment table was knocked over and signs were ripped, according to a UC-Berkeley alert on its website, and one of the men reportedly punched Williams several times,” The National Sentinel reported.
“If they want our dollars, and we give it to them by the billions, they’ve got to allow people like Hayden and many great young people, and old people, to speak,” the president said regarding colleges and universities. If they don’t comply, “it will be very costly,” he added.
According to The Washington Post, the federal government distributes big money each year to universities for research — around $26 billion, according to figures from the National Science Foundation (Reuters reports that more than $30 billion is disbursed annually). Most of the funding goes to research projects for the Defense Department, NASA, and the Departments of Agriculture, Energy, and Health and Human Services.
Legally, the president appears to be on solid ground, according to experts who spoke to the Post.
“There’s a history of the federal government requiring universities to do certain kinds of things in order to receive federal research funding,” Cynthia Miller-Idriss, a professor of education at American University, told the paper.
Regular Trump critics, however, claimed that his order would fundamentally harm the First Amendment, the Post claimed, though he would be issuing it specifically so that all students could speak without fear of retribution or being silenced. (Related: College students are all supportive of Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal” until they learn what’s actually in it.)
Conservative groups championed Greenberg’s arrest.
Charlie Kirk, founder and president of Turning Point USA, issued a statement calling the evidence in the case against him “incontrovertible.”
“We hope 28-year-old Zachary Greenberg is prosecuted to the full extent of the law for assault with a deadly weapon, which should be considered an act of hate. Hopefully, this dark chapter will act as a wake-up call to those concerned about actual politically motivated hate crimes in America.
“Berkeley and all college campuses across American should be safe havens for free thought and opinions — especially for a targeted conservative minority,” his statement read.
During his speech, the president suggested that Williams file lawsuits against “the university” as well as the state of California, suggesting he would become “a very wealthy man.”
Last year, the Justice Department filed a statement of interest in a free speech lawsuit filed against UC-Berkeley, accusing the institution of discriminating against a conservative speaker.
Read more about how universities limit free speech on campus at CampusInsanity.com.