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Trump threatens to defund U.C. Berkeley following riots, violent protests

Graffiti left by protesters who were against a scheduled speaking appearance by Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos in Berkeley, Calif. A group of people with their faces covered broke windows, hurled fireworks at police officers and threw smoke bombs, prompting UC Berkeley officials to cancel Yiannopoulos's talk Wednesday evening. (AP/Ben Margot)

President Donald Trump threatened to defund the University of California, Berkeley Thursday morning following a night of riots and violent protests.

Berkeley cancelled a planned speech by alt-Right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos after violence broke out during protests on campus. The university specifically blamed "150 masked agitators" for inciting the riots and violence at the protests.

But Trump on Thursday called out the California public university on Twitter and threatened to revoke federal funds.

"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 president tweeted.

As CNN reported, masked protesters threw fireworks, rocks and Molotov cocktails that ignited fires at police officers. Protesters also broke windows of Berkeley's student union center where the Breitbart editor was scheduled to speak.

One woman in a red Trump hat was pepper sprayed in the face, CNN reported.

"Campus officials said they condemn in the strongest possible terms the violence and unlawful behavior that was on display and deeply regret that those tactics now overshadow the efforts of the majority to engage in legitimate and lawful protest against the performer’s presence at Berkeley and his perspectives," the university said in a statement.

Berkeley was the home of the Free Speech Movement protests in the 1960s.

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