Michael Johns, co-founder of the Tea Party, after his speech in Rockefeller Hall on Tuesday Evening. (Cameron Pollack / Sun Photography Editor)

February 16, 2017

Text: Michael Johns’ Private Lecture at Cornell

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Michael Johns, a Tea Party leader and former speechwriter for President George H.W. Bush, spoke to a private audience in Rockefeller Hall on Tuesday as about 15 protesters chanted and held signs outside.

The Cornell Political Union hosted Johns, and CPU President Troy LeCaire ’17 said he made the event private after Cornell Police Chief Kathy Zoner raised concerns about possible protests at the event. LeCaire said Zoner said CPU could either hire security for $2,000, cancel the event or make it private.

After some protesters called the event a “safe space for white supremacy,” LeCaire wrote an op-ed in The Sun explaining why CPU had hosted Johns.

Assemblymember Mitchell McBride ’17 recorded protesters outside of the event and asked for their names, leading some of his Student Assembly colleagues to say he may have violated S.A. ethics rules by invoking his position on the University Assembly Codes and Judicial Committee in conversation with protesters.

Johns shared the text of his speech, “Trumpism Can Make America Great Again,” with The Sun on Thursday, which is available in full below.