CNN denies giving school shooting survivor scripted question for gun control town hall
CNN is denying claims made by Colton Haab, a 17-year-old survivor of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
The high school junior told South Florida ABC News affiliate WPLG-TV that he refused to attend Wednesday night's gun control town hall because CNN provided him with a "scripted" question to ask.
"There is absolutely no truth to this," the network said in part via a statement released on Twitter. "CNN did not provide or script questions for anyone in last night's town hall, nor have we ever."
Haab was present the day 17 people were fatally shot and several others were injured at his high school. A member of the Junior ROTC, he used Kevlar sheets to help shield his classmates from bullets, as he told CNN in an earlier interview. Some of the other survivors were in attendance during CNN's town hall on Wednesday to tackle the issue of gun control, with some even confronting Florida Sen. Marco Rubio about accepting donations from the NRA.
"I expected to be able to ask my questions and to give my opinion on my questions," Haab told WPLG, which reported that Haab prepared a suggestion about using veterans as security guards on school grounds. "CNN had originally asked me to write a speech and questions, and it ended up being all scripted," he said.
"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," the statement from CNN explained. "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."