Trump orders colleges to back free speech or lose funding

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday requiring U.S. colleges to protect free speech on their campuses or risk losing federal research funding.

The new order directs federal agencies to ensure that any college or university receiving research grants agrees to promote free speech and the exchange of ideas, and to follow federal rules guiding free expression.

“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,” Trump said at a White House signing ceremony. “These universities have tried to restrict free thought, impose total conformity and shut down the voices of great young Americans.”

The order follows a growing chorus of complaints from conservatives who say their voices have been stifled on campuses across the U.S. Joining Trump at the ceremony were students who said they were challenged by their schools while trying to express views against abortion or in support of their faith.

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