President Trump appeared to threaten to pull federal funds from the University of California at Berkeley Thursday in reaction to violent protests at the school over a scheduled talk by a Breitbart News editor.
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
Students at UC Berkeley received about $200 million in federal financial aid, and research contracts and grants generated about $400 million in revenue from the federal government in fiscal year 2015-16, according to university spokesman Dan Mogulof.
Combined, those two categories made up about 23 percent of the school’s $2.6 billion in revenue for the same time period.
In fall 2014, UC Berkeley enrolled close to 27,000 students and about 10,500 graduate students, according to its website.
Wednesday’s talk by Milo Yiannopoulos was canceled two hours before its scheduled start time after a crowd threw smoke bombs, broke windows, and sparked a massive bonfire.
Officials have said it was a smaller group of protesters that was responsible for the violence.
There were no immediate reports of arrests or serious injuries, the campus police chief said.
UC Berkeley said in a statement that while Yiannopoulos’s views run counter to its values, it “respected his right to come to campus and speak once he was invited to do so by a legitimate student group.”
“The violence last night was an attack on the fundamental values of the university, which stands for and helps to maintain and nurture open inquiry and an inclusive civil society, the bedrock of a genuinely democratic nation,” the statement said.
The university said it “condemns in the strongest possible terms the actions of the individuals who invaded the campus, infiltrated a crowd of peaceful students, and used violent tactics to close down the event.”
Yiannopoulos, a 32-year-old right-wing provocateur, is a vocal supporter of Trump’s and a self-proclaimed Internet troll whose comments have been criticized as racist, misogynist, anti-Muslim, and white supremacist. He was banned from Twitter after leading a harassment campaign against “Ghostbusters” actress Leslie Jones.
His visit to UC Berkeley was sponsored by the campus Republican club.