OXON HILL, Md. — President Donald Trump invited Hayden Williams, a field representative for the Leadership Institute who got punched on the Berkeley campus of the University of California, to speak with him on the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Saturday.
“There is a young gentleman — I turned on my television the other day and I saw somebody that was violently punched in the face. Violently punched. And I said, ‘that’s disgusting,'” Trump said. “So, the man’s name is Hayden Williams.”
The CPAC audience burst into applause. “Where’s Hayden? Where is he? Where is he? Hayden, come up here, please.”
As Williams got up on the stage, he thanked the president and discussed his work at the Leadership Institute.
“Thank you. Thank you. So, at the Leadership Institute, we’re committed to making campuses great again… It’s great that I’m being recognized, but there are so many conservative students across the country who are facing discrimination, harassment, and worse if they dare to speak up on campus,” Williams said. “I’m glad that we could bring this to the forefront… If these socialist-progressives had their way, they would put our Constitution through the paper shredder in a heartbeat.”
“It’s as important now [as] ever, the work at Leadership Institute and Campus Reform, exposing these liberal abuses to the public,” Willaims added. “These students do it because they have a love of our nation and freedom, and frankly, a love for you, Mr. President. If you keep defending us, we’ll keep defending you. Thank you.”
Trump thanked him as well. Then he quipped, “I was going to call him, but I don’t have to now.”
The president compared Williams to boxer Muhammad Ali. “First of all, he can take a punch… that was a hell of a hard punch.”
“But you know what? You’ve got yourself a great lawyer,” Trump told Williams. “I know your lawyer. She is a great lawyer. Just tell her to do me a favor: sue him —but he’s probably got nothing. But sue him forever. But sue the college, the university, and maybe sue the state.”
Trump said that Williams “took a hard punch in the face for all of us.”
Trump predicted Hayden Williams will be a wealthy young man. Then he announced that he will soon be signing an executive order “requiring colleges and universities to support free speech.”
Once again, CPAC broke into loud applause.
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Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.