In a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday, President Trump announced he would sign an executive order pressuring schools to support free speech in order to receive federal research dollars.
Ahead of the announcement, Trump invited Hayden Williams, a conservative activist who was assaulted at the University of California, Berkeley last month, on stage to discuss the Feb. 19 incident. “He took a punch for all of us,” said Trump.
The president then revealed his plans to pursue an executive order that would withhold federal research money from schools that fail to uphold free speech on campus.
“Today, I’m 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,” Trump told the audience. “If they want our dollars, and we give it to them by the billions, they’ve got to allow people like Hayden and many other great young people and old people to speak. Free speech. If they don’t, it will be costly. That will be signed soon.”
“I will be signing an executive order requiring colleges and universities to support free speech if they want federal research dollars” @realDonaldTrump #CPAC2019 #WhatMakesAmericaGreat pic.twitter.com/hyeNZ3jI6F
— CPAC 2019 (@CPAC) March 2, 2019
The president’s announcement was met with wild applause from conference attendees, many of whom were college students themselves. No further details about the potential executive order, such as how the administration would define free speech or the standards for upholding it, have been made public as of Saturday evening.