Trump Says ‘Paid Agitators’ Are Taking Over Campus Protests

Gage Skidmore


Protests in support of Palestinians have sparked a heated political debate at Columbia University, leading to arrests and criticism from former President Donald Trump. The protests raise questions about the nature of the demonstrations and the response from law enforcement.

Why It Matters

This story matters to conservatives as it highlights the complex relationship between campus activism, law enforcement, and national politics, reflecting broader societal tensions and the potential for external influence on university protests.

Who It Impacts

The issue impacts students, university administrators, law enforcement, and political leaders, emphasizing the intersection of activism, academic policies, and political discourse.

Protests at Columbia University Ignite Controversy

A series of pro-Palestinian protests at Columbia University in New York City has led to heated debates and law enforcement intervention. The demonstrations, which began over two weeks ago, escalated with students barricading themselves in Hamilton Hall, calling for the university to divest from Israel and condemning what they described as Israel’s “ongoing genocidal assault on the Gaza Strip.”

The protests drew the attention of former President Donald Trump, who in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, claimed that “paid agitators” were involved in the demonstrations. Trump’s comments followed the intervention of hundreds of NYPD officers, who arrested over 100 students and dispersed protesters camping on the school’s lawn.

Despite a lack of evidence supporting Trump’s claims, the former president pointed to identical signs among the demonstrators, suggesting organized efforts from external sources. “These aren’t hand-painted signs,” Trump said, “but identical ones, printed by the same source.”

In response to the protests, Columbia University spokesperson Ben Chang emphasized the university’s decision to call in law enforcement, stating that the NYPD was “best positioned to determine and execute an appropriate response.” Chang also suggested that the group leading the protests might include individuals unaffiliated with the university.

Trump praised the NYPD for its handling of the protests but warned of the ongoing nature of the demonstrations, highlighting their spread across the country. He also used the opportunity to criticize President Joe Biden for not doing enough to address anti-Semitism, stating, “Biden is supposed to be the voice of our country, and it’s certainly not much of a voice.”

The situation at Columbia University underscores broader societal issues, including tensions around the Israel-Palestine conflict, political discourse, and the relationship between university activism and national politics. It reflects the challenges faced by universities, law enforcement, and political leaders in navigating these complex issues.