President Donald Trump on Thursday night accused CNN of forcing a survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting last week to provide “scripted” answers to questions during yesterday’s South Florida town hall. The network, in response, shot him down.
Trump appears to have gotten the story from Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who interviewed the student who alleged the network fed him scripted answers earlier in the night.
In the interview, Stoneman Douglas student Colton Haab told Carlson that a producer did not allow him to speak when he submitted his question, instead giving him answers they prepared for him. CNN denied the claim in a statement prior to tweeted at the president.
“Just like so much of CNN, Fake News,” Trump tweeted. “That’s why their ratings are so bad!”
“MSNBC may be worse,” he added.
The theory appears to have originated with Pizzagate conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich, who tweeted last night that Haab was not allowed to speak at the town hall due to his pro-gun rights stance.
CNN did not let Colton Haab ask a question at tonight #StudentsStandUp because he was pro-gun rights.
This is who CNN censored. https://t.co/63JJi3Qaub
— Mike Cernovich 🇺🇸 (@Cernovich) February 22, 2018
Soon after, right-wing vlogger Mark Dice, who last week was blasted by Stoneman Douglas student after he suggested they should have called the police instead of film the chaos during the shooting, also promoted the theory.
— Mark Dice (@MarkDice) February 22, 2018
CNN responded directly to the president’s tweet by tagging him and Carlson and rebutting “there is absolutely no truth to this story — and we can prove that.”
“CNN did not provide or script questions for anyone in last night’s town hall, nor have we ever,” the tweeted. “Those are the facts.”
There is absolutely no truth to this story — and we can prove that. CNN did not provide or script questions for anyone in last night's town hall, nor have we ever. Those are the facts. #FactsFirst 🍎
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) February 23, 2018