Trump Will ‘Throw Out’ Student Protesters If Elected

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Donald Trump recently told a group of donors that if he wins the 2024 presidential election, he will “throw out” students who attend pro-Palestinian protests, according to the Washington Post. “One thing I do is, any student that protests, I throw them out of the country. You know, there are a lot of foreign students. As soon as they hear that, they’re going to behave,” Trump said, according to donors at the event, whom the Post did not name. It is unclear if he meant he would throw out all students, regardless of their nationality, or only non-U.S. citizens studying here.  

Over the past several months, anti-war protests have cropped up at dozens of schools and universities across the country, beginning with Columbia University in New York, where tent enclosures and campus occupations disrupted final weeks of class, canceling its graduation ceremony. Though the demonstrations have been largely peaceful, the NYPD violently cracked down on them, arresting hundreds of people in April and May. (Many of those charges were later dropped, according to the news organization The City.) During the donor event, which per the Post occurred on May 14 in New York City, Trump called the protests a “radical revolution” and commended the NYPD’s reaction to the organizers, which he said “[have] to be stopped now.” If re-elected, he promised, “we’re going to set that movement back 25 or 30 years.”

This is not the first time the former president has threatened student protesters. As Rolling Stone previously reported, Trump told attendees at a campaign rally that he would not tolerate foreign students participating in demonstrations. “If you come here from another country and try to bring jihadism or anti-Americanism or antisemitism to our campuses, we will immediately deport you, you’ll be out of that school,” Trump told a crowd in Wildwood, New Jersey on May 11. 

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According to the Washington Post, Trump joked at the private donor event that “98 percent of my Jewish friends” were present in the room, and went on to promise support for Israel in the event that he wins in November. He said he believes Israel’s actions to be a justified “war on terror” and as president he would support the country. This is also not the first time he’s expressed support for Israel in the current Gaza war. During an appearance on Fox News in March, Trump said that he was “firmly in Israel’s camp,” and said of Israel’s strikes on Gazans, “you have to finish the problem.” According to Al Jazeera, at least 36,050 Palestinians have been killed in the war so far, as have at least 1,139 people in Israel. 

Though the Post noted that a representative for Trump did not answer detailed questions about their reporting, they did receive an email from the campaign’s national secretary, Karoline Leavitt. “When President Trump is back in the Oval Office, Israel will once again be protected, Iran will go back to being broke, terrorists will be hunted down, and the bloodshed will end,” she wrote. 

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