The student who says CNN attempted to script the question he was scheduled to ask Wednesday night's CNN town hall on gun control, Colton Haab, is sticking by his story.
This comes after CNN denied his claims that they would only let him read a question they had written.
“There is absolutely no truth to this,” a statement from CNN said. “CNN did not provide or script questions for anyone in last night’s town hall, nor have we ever.”
In an interview on Fox New's "Tucker Carlson Tonight," Haab said he told CNN what he planned to ask about, but "they actually wrote the question."
"I knew as soon as what had happened with me that it was going to be more scripted and wasn’t actually going to be actual questions," Haab said, explaining his decision to skip the event altogether. CNN had reported in its statement that, "Colton's father withdrew his name from participation before the forum began, which we regretted but respected." In the Fox News interview, Haab indicated it was his own decision to skip the CNN Event.
Haab is a member of the Junior RTC and is credited with shielding dozens of students from bullets using kevlar sheets during the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School. He told Tucker Carlson the question he planned to ask at the CNN town hall focused on whether teachers would be open to arming themselves.
Here's a rush excerpt from the exchange:
CARLSON: "At the request of CNN producer you sent in a number of questions questions you wanted to ask on the stage and they rewrote one of your questions? Is that right?"
HAAB: "Yes, sir. So what had happened was four days ago I had gotten contact by a lady named Carrie Stevenson from CNN. She had asked originally me to write a speech. It was going to be at the town hall, the BBC Center. So I agreed. I felt like it would be the right thing to do. Be able to go speak my part as well as open eyes to a few things that I thought can make this situation a little better. From there three days ago. I got an email back from her and she asked for more of questions rather than a speech. Which I was totally fine with. I wrote less of a speech and more questions I wanted to ask at the town hall. The day after that it was more of just questions. She asked for just questions that I would like to ask. So, I gave her my questions and then yesterday, at about 5:15, I made contact with her. 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. So I have that question here if you would like me to ask it for you."
CARLSON: "I just want to make sure I have this straight. So you sent them a long, in effect, essay on what you thought but they put their own words in the question and they weren’t the same as the words you had sent in? They were the producer’s words?"
HAAB: "Absolutely. They had taken what I had wrote and what I had briefed on and talked about and they actually wrote the question for me but not with their words even after they asked to you send in questions."
CARLSON: "That seems dishonest."
HAAB: "It definitely did. That’s kind of why I didn’t go last night. Originally I had thought that it was going to be more of my own question and my own say and then it turned out to be more of just a script. And she had actually said that over the phone that I needed to stick to the script."
CARLSON: "That’s remarkable. Did you watch last night?"
HAAB: "I watched a little bit of it. I kind of felt like I didn’t really need to because I knew as soon as what had happened with me that it was going to be more scripted and wasn’t actually going to be actual questions. Then I didn’t feel the need to fully watch it."
CARLSON: "So if CNN was willing to reword your question, put their own words in your mouth and as you said you didn’t want to go along with that do you think they did that to other people last night?"
HAAB: "Absolutely, from what did I see, I seen a couple people that asked questions before did I leave my house. It was a little piece of paper cut out. And I know for a fact that nobody cut their own paper out and wrote their own question. Especially when they were all based off the same topic. So, to me, it from right there it showed this isn’t correct. Why do they all have the same size piece of paper with a short little question on it? So, to me it was a total waste of my time, honestly."