President Donald Trump threatened to yank federal funding from schools that provide education that he deems too left-wing on Friday.
Trump complained on Twitter that “too many Universities and School Systems are about Radical Left Indoctrination, not Education.”
“Therefore, I am telling the Treasury Department to re-examine their Tax-Exempt Status and/or Funding, which will be taken away if this Propaganda or Act Against Public Policy continues,” he tweeted. “Our children must be Educated, not Indoctrinated!”
The President did not elaborate on what constitutes an “act against public policy.” The White House did not respond to TPM’s query.
It wouldn’t be the first time Trump’s administration targeted a school on ideological or political grounds: Last September, the Education Department threatened to withdraw funding from a Middle East studies program at Duke University and the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill for focusing too heavily on the “positive aspects of Islam.” The department demanded that the schools change the program’s activities to fix its “lack of balance” before receiving federal funds.
The incident and Trump’s tweet on Friday stand in stark contrast with the President’s claims to be a vigilant defender of free speech on student campuses, which led to him to issue an executive order on “improving free inquiry, transparency, and accountability at colleges and universities.”
Critics pointed out that the order didn’t really mandate universities do anything federal agencies hadn’t already required of them.