President Donald Trump vowed during his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Saturday to defend conservative free speech on college campuses.
The president invited Hayden Williams, the conservative activist for the Leadership Institute who was punched in the face at the UC Berkeley campus in California, to join him on stage.
Trump also announced his decision to sign an executive order requiring colleges and universities to protect free speech on campus if they were to receive federal funding.
“If they want our dollars, and we give it to them by the billions, they’ve got to allow people like Hayden and a great many of young people and old people to speak,” Trump said. “Free speech!”
Williams thanked the president for his support.
“I am glad we could bring this to the forefront,” he said. “If these socialist progressives had their way, they would put our Constitution through the paper shredder in a heartbeat.”
The crowd of young people at CPAC leaped to their feet with a roar of approval, giving the president a lengthy standing ovation and chanting, “USA! USA! USA!”
“He can take a punch,” Trump said about Williams. “That was a hard punch. He was a strong guy, but you know what? You’ve got yourself a great lawyer. … Sue him forever. … Sue the college. Sue the university, and maybe sue the state.”