Trump Signs Executive Order Withholding Federal Research Grants from Colleges That Stifle Free Speech

US President Donald Trump signs an executive order to protect free speech on college campuses during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, March 21, 2019. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump signed an executive order Thursday stating that federal research grants will be withheld from colleges and universities that are hostile to free speech.

The move comes on the heels of a promise the president made at CPAC, the nation’s largest conservative political conference earlier this month, that he would act on what many consider a growing problem of the suppression of ideas on U.S. college campuses.

“We’re here to take historic action to defend American students and American values,” the president said at the White House signing ceremony, surrounded by conservative students whose free speech had been stifled on their college campuses.

“They’ve been under siege,” he said of those standing up for free speech, particularly those challenging far-left views.

He continued, “Under the guise of speech codes, safe spaces and trigger warnings, these universities have tried to restrict free thought, impose total conformity and shut down the voices of great young Americans like those here today.”

“We will not stand idly by and allow public institutions to violate their students’ constitutional rights,” Trump said, adding that if a college or university does not allow students to speak they will be denied funding.

“It’s that simple,” he said.

Crystallizing the hostility toward conservative students on university campuses was the recent assault of Hayden Williams, a student activist with Turning Point USA, who was working as a recruiter for the organization on the campus of University of California at Berkeley.

In a scuffle that was caught on video and went viral online, Zachary Greenberg cursed at and punched Williams in the face on Feb. 19, giving him a black eye.

Police arrested Greenburg, who is not a Berkeley student, on March 1, and he is now facing charges.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter