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Trump pledges university 'free speech' executive order. Here's everything you need to know.
Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Trump pledges university 'free speech' executive order. Here's everything you need to know.

'If they want our dollars...'

President Donald Trump pledged on Saturday to issue an executive order protecting the right to free speech on college campuses nationwide for students of all political viewpoints.

What are the details?

Announced during his two-hour speech at CPAC, Trump said the order would require universities to protect "free speech" in order to remain eligible for federal research grants.

"Today I'm proud to announce that I will be very soon signing an executive order requiring colleges and universities to support free speech if they want federal research grants," Trump said, according to The Hill.

"We reject oppressive speech codes, censorship, political correctness and every other attempt by the hard left to stop people from challenging ridiculous and dangerous ideas. These ideas are dangerous," he explained. "Instead we believe in free speech, including online and including on campus."

"If they want our dollars, and we give it to them by the billions, they've got to allow people like Hayden and many great young people, and old people, to speak," Trump said, bringing Hayden Williams on stage, the conservative activist who was assaulted at UC Berkeley last month.

Indeed, for years university administrators have been accused of stifling free speech. With the establishment of "safe spaces" and increasingly political tribalism, conservatives often accuse college administrators of stifling their free speech. In other instances, conservatives have found themselves on the receiving end of violent protests and, in Williams' case, assault.

As the Washington Post noted, Trump vowed to sign the order "very soon," but did not elaborate or offer additional details. Trump did not say whether the order has been drafted, and the White House did not make a statement.

Currently, the federal government dispenses more than $20 billion each year for university research grants.

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