WASHINGTON D.C. (AP) — President Donald Trump is questioning whether the University of California at Berkeley should be granted federal funding after it canceled a speaking event due to riots.
Protesters hurled smoke bombs, broke windows and started a bonfire prompting university officials to cancel a talk Wednesday by Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos out of safety concerns.
The decision was made two hours before the Wednesday night event because a crowd of more than 1,500 had gathered outside the venue, the university says in a statement.
“Of paramount importance this evening was the campus’s commitment to ensure the safety and security of those attending the event, the speaker, those who came to engage in lawful protest, as well as members of the public and the Berkeley campus community,” it says.
Trump tweeted Thursday morning, “If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS?”
The 32-year-old right-wing provocateur Yiannopoulos is a vocal Trump supporter 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.
“The event has been cancelled,” Yiannopoulos posted on his Facebook page. “I’ll let you know more when the facts become clear. One thing we do know for sure: the Left is absolutely terrified of free speech and will do literally anything to shut it down.”