President Donald Trump has threatened the University of California at Berkeley to cut all the federal funding for the college as a group of students starting rioting after the announcement of the speech of the far-right Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos.
The President announced the threat via his official Twitter account, saying that “If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS?” In the past days, Trump has announced several policies in his personal tweets.
Californian lawmakers have denounced Trump for being abusive, as they see the declarations as distasteful. California is a state that is mostly led by Democrats, and this inconvenient comes after tension situation between the state’s House and the Commander in Chief.
Experts were not clear about the actual possibilities for Trump of cutting of Berkeley from receiving federal money, as an authorization approved by the Congress could be necessary in order to Trump avoid further legal accusations.
The local lawyers present in the state House have started the preparation to combat Trump in court, alleging the abuse of power and the misuse of Presidential jurisdictions regarding policies on immigration and climate change.
“To have the man at the helm of the most powerful nation of the world tweeting and threatening the University of California and talking about withholding funds, that’s unique and I find that very distasteful,” said Senate leader Kevin de Leon, a Los Angeles Democrat.
Possible upcoming scenarios in California
Local experts have stated that they are analyzing if Trump can cut the more of $400 million of federal money that Berkeley receives annually for researching. Last year, the U.C. Berkeley received more than $2oo million oriented to a program of student fund aid, supported by the Congress.
Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, a Democrat from the Los Angeles suburb of Paramount, said that they are on the hold as they expect another “angry tweet” regarding the Berkeley situation. He also stated that local lawmakers would continue to look for all the defense options they have to combat Trump’s offensive threat.
Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks said that he condemned vigorously all the attacks suffered by the College last Wednesday. He informed that “Last night (Wednesday) the Berkeley campus was invaded by more than 100 armed individuals clad in all black who utilized paramilitary tactics to engage in violent, destructive behavior.”
He assured to the press that all the student community respected the freedom of speech, as the U.C. Berkeley is famous for the Free Speech Movement back in the 60’s. He stated that he and the students respected Yiannopoulos’ right to speak.
Yiannopoulos has been very polemic over the last months as he has talked very provocatively about Muslim people, the Black Lives Matter movement and feminists in general. He said to Fox News that he understands how a liberal campus like the one in Berkeley express so negatively to any person that “dares to express an opinion,” as he admitted that he didn’t particularly like that student community.