CNN has accused the father of a student who survived last week’s school shooting in Florida of doctoring emails to make it appear as though CNN was feeding the teen talking points at a televised town hall dedicated to the mass shooting this past Wednesday.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Colton Haab, a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, told reporters outside the event that he had chosen not to attend, as originally planned, because CNN scripted questions for him to ask the panelists — which included Senator Marco Rubio and National Rifle Association spokesperson Dana Loesch.
Haab, a Junior ROTC member, told WPLG-TV that he had wanted to talk about arming veterans to act as security guards in an effort to prevent fatal mass shootings like the one that killed 17 students and teachers on February 14.
“CNN had originally asked me to write a speech and questions and it ended up being all scripted,” Haab told the news station.
In a statement issued on Thursday, CNN denied Haab’s accusation, insisting there was “absolutely no truth to” it.
Haab’s family reportedly shared emails with multiple media outlets purporting to support the accusation that CNN scripted questions for the teen to ask. But on Saturday, a representative for the network told Business Insider that CNN had obtained evidence that Haab’s father had doctored those emails, and shared images of that evidence.
In reality, the representative claimed, CNN had agreed for Haab to ask the panelists a question he submitted, but then the boy’s father Glenn Haab asked for his son to deliver a speech that included four separate questions.
In an email to Glenn Haab that CNN submitted to Business Insider, CNN producer Carrie Stevenson wrote: “This is what Colton and I discussed on the phone that he submitted. He needs to stuck [sic] to this.”
CNN claims that the elder Haab shared doctored emails with news outlets, including Fox News, that had deleted he phrase “that he submitted.”
According to the Business Insider report, a document containing the email the family submitted to media outlets indicates that Glenn Haab had edited it.
“It is unfortunate that an effort to discredit CNN and the town hall with doctored emails has taken any attention away from the purpose of the event,” a CNN spokesman told Business Insider.
“However, when presented with doctored email exchanges, we felt the need to set the record straight.”
After Colton Haab shared his claims on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” President Donald Trump tweeted the accusation as evidence that CNN is “Fake News.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 23, 2018
Glenn Haab has not yet responded to Business Insider’s request for comment.
[Feature image: Colton Haab/WPLG-TV screenshot]