President Donald Trump on Thursday tweeted that CNN is “fake news,” quoting a Fox News report that a Florida school shooting survivor dropped out of CNN’s town hall debate on gun control over a “scripted question.” CNN has vehemently denied giving the survivor a script.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 23, 2018
Colton Haab, a junior at the Florida high school where a gunman killed 17 people last week, told Fox News on Thursday that CNN had provided him with a question to ask at the town hall on Wednesday night.
Scripted town hall? Check out part of my interview with a student who claims CNN rewrote and scripted his question. CNN pushed back against the initial claim. Take a listen #Tucker @FoxNews pic.twitter.com/8uDuH6rBIv
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) February 23, 2018
“What [CNN] had actually done was wrote out a question for me,” Haab told Fox News.
Haab previously said he had written a speech and multiple questions for the town hall event, “and it ended up all being scripted.”
In a statement Thursday, CNN said “there is absolutely no truth” to Haab’s claim that the network scripted questions for the town hall, which was intended as a debate on gun violence in the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
CNN also invited Haab on its network to “discuss his views on school safety.”
CNN response to the claim of a "scripted question" for last night's town hall: pic.twitter.com/Mz1hMqqfkw
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) February 22, 2018
Trump has often decried CNN as a “fake news” source. In January, the president’s suggestion of awarding a “fake news trophy” backfired when Fox News, Trump’s news channel of choice, was voted the most “corrupt” news outlet.