On Thursday evening, a school shooting survivor doubled down on his allegation that CNN "scripted" questions for its chaotic gun control town hall, which devolved into pro-gun control members of the audience shouting down pro-Second Amendment speakers, including NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch. In response, President Trump took to Twitter to slam "Fake News" CNN for its handling of the event.
Colton Haab, an ROTC student who heroically shielded his fellow students with Kevlar during the horrific mass shooting, told Fox News' Tucker Carlson Thursday that CNN producer Carrie Stevenson reached out to him about appearing at the town hall but then last second told him he could only ask the question written out for him by CNN, and told him to "stick to the script."
"I gave [Stevenson] my questions and then yesterday, at about 5:15, I made contact with her," said Haab. "And she had asked if I had just asked her one question. So what they had actually done was wrote out a question for me because in my interview with CNN, I had talked about arming the teachers, if they were willing to arm themselves in the school to carry on campus. And they had — she had taken that of what I had briefed on and actually wrote that question out for me."
Trump responded to the interview by blasting his least favorite network for producing more "fake news."
"'School shooting survivor says he quit @CNN Town Hall after refusing scripted question.' @TuckerCarlson. Just like so much of CNN, Fake News. That’s why their ratings are so bad! MSNBC may be worse," wrote Trump.
Haab's accusation was followed by another accusation of agenda-driven reporting against CNN, this time leveled by a parent of one of the student survivors, who came forward Thursday night to accuse CNN of deliberately trying to find people to interview who would "espouse a certain narrative which was taking the tragedy and turning it into a policy debate."
Update: On Friday, CNN pushed back on Haab's claim, releasing 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":
Earlier on Thursday, Trump came to the defense of the NRA, which was slammed repeatedly in CNN's town hall and which is currently facing a campaign to take out its business partners and sponsors, including Enterprise Rent-a-Car.
Trump has been very active on Twitter in addressing the horrific shooting last week at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Below are some of his recent tweets related to the survivors, his promotion of the idea of arming some teachers, and his push for stronger background checks "with emphasis on mental health" and banning bump stocks:
This article has been updated to provide new information about CNN releasing the email exchange between Haab and Stevenson.