Robert Reich speculated that the instigators of the violence on the University of California at Berkeley campus were not students and could have been Milo Yiannopoulos allies.
Reich, who teaches at Berkeley, explained that he knows the students on campus and those that he saw tearing up the city were not students. In fact, the college “opened its doors wide,” he explained, and gave Yiannopoulos the largest auditorium on campus. There were also editorials leading up to the event about the importance of free speech on campus and that the university was part of leading the movement in the 1960s.
“I know what I saw,” Reich explained. “They weren’t Berkeley students. They were outside agitators.”
He went on to say that there are rumors the agitators were right-wingers that are “part of a group that were organized and ready to create the tumult and danger.”
Reich mentioned President Donald Trump’s recent comments that he intends to pull federal funding from the school because it doesn’t respect free speech. “That’s a complete distortion of the truth,” Reich continued. “I mean, Berkeley opened its biggest auditorium to this right-wing Breitbart news character, hateful odious person. But said, ‘free speech is most important thing we stand for.’ And it was these outsiders who caused police to come in and cancel it.”
Host Don Lemon asked if Reich believed the incident was part of a strategy by Yiannopoulos or the right wing to put on an effort to claim free speech wasn’t allowed on Berkeley’s campus.
“I wouldn’t bet against it, Don,” Reich said. “Again, I saw these people. They all looked almost paramilitary, not from the campus. And I’ve heard — again I don’t want to say factually — but heard there’s some relationship there between these people and the right wing. And the movement that is affiliated with Breitbart news.”
Following the incident on campus, Yiannopoulos’s latest book exploded in sales.
Watch the full panel discussion below: