At the White House on Thursday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to protect the free speech rights of all students on campuses across the country.

The order states that any public university that receives federal research funds could risk losing those funds if free speech rights are not respected.

“Under the policy I am announcing today, federal agencies will use their authority under various grant making programs to ensure that public universities protect, cherish, protect the first amendment and first amendment rights of their students, or risk losing billions and billions of dollars of federal taxpayer dollars.”

After calling several individuals to the podium who shared their stories of being denied their free speech rights on campus, President Trump repeated the warning contained in the executive order.

“We will not stand idly by and allow public institutions to violate their students’ constitutional rights,” he said. “If a college or university doesn’t allow you to speak, we will not give them money, it’s that simple.”

In the audience and invited by President Trump to attend the signing ceremony was UM student Taylor Powell, who filed a grievance with the University of Montana after she claimed that her free speech rights had been violated on campus, a claim denied by the professor allegedly involved.

Powell will be a guest next week on Talk Back to share her experience at the White House.

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