President Donald Trump appeared to threaten to revoke federal funding from the University of California at Berkeley on Thursday after violent protests erupted at a speaking event for Milo Yiannopoulos.
"If UC Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view — NO FEDERAL FUNDS?" Trump tweeted.
A handful of protesters — not Berkeley itself, university officials said — broke windows, threw rocks, set a fire and launched fireworks outside a student union building Wednesday night where Yiannopoulos, a white supremacist pundit and avid Trump supporter, was scheduled to speak.
University police canceled Yiannopoulos' appearance in light of the unrest.
Trump's concerns about protecting people with different points of view are unserious considering his own past. During his presidential campaign, Trump's rallies were often defined by their violence against people who disagreed with him.
Protesters at Trump's rallies were frequently met with brutality, sometimes at Trump's own behest. Here's a Trump supporter grabbing a protester by the face and shoving him during a rally in April in Albany, New York:
Here's a group of Trump supporters — including noted white supremacist Matthew Heimbach (red cap) — shoving and jostling a black woman protester during a rally in March Louisville, Kentucky:
Here's a Trump supporter at another March rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, sucker-punching a black protester in the face:
Slate compiled a lengthy catalog of violent incidents at Trump campaign events between October 2015 and June 2016. The perpetrators were almost always Trump supporters attacking protesters. Trump also repeatedly encouraged this violence, and in some cases, offered to defend and pay the legal fees for his supporters who attacked protesters.
"The audience hit back, and that's what need a little bit more of," Trump told reporters after the Fayetteville incident.