Earlier this month, when UC Berkeley canceled a planned speech by Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, President Donald Trump quickly responded by threatening to cut Berkeley’s federal funds.
But on Monday, after Yiannopoulos’ comments about pedophilia cost him a book deal with Simon & Schuster and a high-profile speaking gig at this week’s Conservative Poliitcal Action Conference, Trump had nothing to say.
If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2017
Many of the president’s critics took note of his silence on the Milo matter, suggesting that Trump appeared to be more offended by UC Berkeley’s actions than he was by Yiannopoulos’ statements. Berkeley said at the time if canceled the speech that it was concerned about safety because of the angry protests the planned speech had sparked.
Trump has had friendly ties with Breitbart, the conservative site that, at least as of this writing, still employs Yiannopoulos. His lead strategist, Steve Bannon, formerly led the site. In interviews, Yiannopoulos has jokingly referred to Trump as “Daddy.”
A Trump spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.
Yiannopoulos has said his thoughts on relationships between young boys and adult men were inelegantly expressed and taken out of context. In recorded interviews, he had said that it is possible for a 13-year-old to be the “predator” in a relationship with an adult. He also joked that being molested by a priest had made him better at oral sex.
Here are some responses to Trump’s non-response:
Remember when Donald Trump threatened to defund Berkeley if it didn't let Milo speak? (It was 2 weeks ago.) https://t.co/PYd8nfZkF8
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) February 21, 2017
Trump threatened to defund Berkeley when protests prevented Milo from speaking there. Will he skip CPAC now? https://t.co/f6LxMMW2E0
— Chris Megerian (@ChrisMegerian) February 20, 2017
This would be a fair question. Trump tweeted his support of Milo in the wake of the Berkeley protests https://t.co/g4AsfV5BUW
— Simon Owens (@simonowens) February 20, 2017
Hey remember when President Donald Trump threatened to defund UC Berkeley if Milo wasn't allowed to speak on their campus?
— sarah amy harvard (@amyharvard_) February 21, 2017
@johnpavlovitz – Funny that on 2/2 Trump tweeted "If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech…" over Milo. Now nothing to say. Crickets.
— Kim Holman (@holman_kim) February 21, 2017