Colton Haab told a local Florida TV station he declined to appear at the network’s town hall on gun violence, because CNN wanted him to read a scripted question.
CNN insists it did not provide or script questions of any of the participants at Wednesday night’s televised town hall at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida, attended by Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Bill Nelson, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel and NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch.
Haab’s father withdrew his son’s name from participation before the forum began, CNN says, adding that it respected that decision, though it would have liked Colton to have participated. CNN said it has invited Colton to come on the air Thursday to discuss his views on school safety.
Wednesday night, Haab told Miami ABC affiliate WPLG-TV, “CNN had originally asked me to write a speech and questions, and it ended up being all scripted.” The high school junior said he’d written a question about school safety that included a suggestion veterans be used as security guards.
CNN previously interviewed the 17-year-old ROTC member last Friday; he told John Berman he used Kevlar to shield students when a student who had been expelled from the school opened fire with an AR-15 and gunned down 17 people on Valentine’s Day.