Trump says universities increasingly hostile to First Amendment

President Trump on Thursday signed the Executive Order to Improve Transparency and Promote Free Speech in Higher Education, criticizing American universities for being “increasingly hostile” to First Amendment protections.

“In America, the very heart of the university’s mission is preparing students for life in a free society,” the president said, while speaking at a White House ceremony. “But even as universities have received billions and billions of dollars from taxpayers, many have become increasingly hostile to free speech and to the First Amendment. You see it all the time. You turn on the news, and you see things that are horrible.”

Trump blasted speech codes, safe spaces, and trigger warnings that he said help “restrict free thought, impose total conformity, and shut down the voices of great young Americans.”

The event included several college students and recent graduates, as well as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

Trump commended the students for standing up for their free speech rights.

“These courageous Americans have stood up for the forces of political indoctrination — and they really stood up to it, too — censorship, and coercion,” Trump said. “You’ve refused to be silenced by powerful institutions and close-minded critics, of which there are many. You’ve faced down intimidation, pressure, and abuse. You did it because you love your country, and you believe in truth, justice and freedom.”

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