On Thursday morning, CNN responded to an accusation that its overtly one-sided town hall on gun control on Wednesday night was "scripted." The claim, made by heroic Parkland massacre survivor Colton Haab, was "absolutely" false, CNN stated.
Haab, a 17-year-old Junior ROTC member who heroically shielded other students with Kevlar vests, told Miami's WPLG-TV after the CNN event that he had been invited to the town hall but decided not to go when his questions about gun control were rejected by the network. The event, he said, "ended up being all scripted."
"I expected to be able to ask my questions and give my opinion on my questions," Haab told WPLG-TV. "CNN had originally asked me to write a speech and questions and it ended up being all scripted."
Haab explained that he wrote some questions about how to improve school safety, including a suggestion that schools might use veterans to provide security. His questions, he claimed, were turned down by CNN.
"I don't think it's going to get anything accomplished, it's not going to ask the true questions that all the parents and teachers and students have," said Haab.
CNN responded with a statement declaring the student's claim "absolutely" untrue. Here's the full statement posted by CNN Communications:
There is absolutely no truth to this. CNN did not provide or script questions for anyone in last night's town hall, nor have we ever.
After seeing an interview with Colton Haab, we invited him to participate in our town hall along with other students and administrators from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Colton's father withdrew his name from participation before the forum began, which we regretted but respected. We welcome Colton to join us on CNN today to discuss his views on school safety.
Update: On Friday, CNN released an email exchange between Haab and Stevenson indicating that he "doctored" an email he sent to Fox News and Huffington Post. "This is what Colton and I discussed on the phone that he submitted," reads Stevenson's email. Haab allegedly edited out the key phrase "that he submitted":
Below is the interview with Haab:
Related: Shapiro Rips CNN's Anti-Gun Debacle
H/T Daily Mail
This article has been updated to provide new information about CNN releasing the email exchange between Haab and Stevenson.