Parkland shooting survivor's family shops doctored emails with CNN to media outlets

  • The family of Colton Haab, a student at the Florida high school where a gunman killed 17 people last week, provided a doctored email between Haab's father, Glenn Haab, and a CNN producer to media outlets. 
  • Colton told Fox News' Tucker Carlson on Thursday that a CNN producer rewrote a question for Haab to ask at the network's town hall-style event on Wednesday. 
  • President Donald Trump tweeted about the interview on Thursday night, calling CNN "fake news."
  • CNN denies Haab's claims and said, "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."

The family of Colton Haab, a student at the Florida high school where a gunman killed 17 people last week, provided a doctored email to media outlets in order to defend Haab's claims that CNN rewrote a question for him to ask at the network's Wednesday town-hall-style event on school shootings. 

Haab told the Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Thursday night that CNN executive producer Carrie Stevenson gave him a question to deliver to lawmakers and told him to "stick to the script." 

But CNN says there is "absolutely no truth" to Colton's claims, which he first made on a Miami TV-news station.

"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," Haab told Carlson. "And they had — she had taken that, of what I had briefed on, and actually wrote that question out for me."

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CNN holds town hall with students, politicians after Florida school shooting
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CNN holds town hall with students, politicians after Florida school shooting
National Rifle Association spokesperson Dana Loesch (R) answers a question while sitting next to Broward Sheriff Scott Israel during a CNN town hall meeting, at the BB&T Center, in Sunrise, Florida, U.S. February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Michael Laughlin/Pool
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez comforts a classmate during a CNN town hall meeting, at the BB&T Center, in Sunrise, Florida, U.S. February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Michael Laughlin/Pool
Broward Sheriff Scott Israel (L) makes a point to NRA Spokesperson Dana Loesch during a CNN town hall meeting, at the BB&T Center, in Sunrise, Florida, U.S. February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Michael Laughlin/Pool
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez wipes away tears during a CNN town hall meeting, at the BB&T Center, in Sunrise, Florida, U.S. February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Michael Laughlin/Pool
Parent Fred Guttenberg watches a monitor honoring the 17 students and teachers who were killed at Douglas High School, during a CNN town hall meeting, at the BB&T Center, in Sunrise, Florida, U.S. February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Michael Laughlin/Pool Guttenberg lost his daughter Jamie in the attack on Valentines day.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas student Cameron Kasky (L) asks Senator Marco Rubio if he will continue to accept money from the NRA during a CNN town hall meeting, at the BB&T Center, in Sunrise, Florida, U.S. February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Michael Laughlin/Pool
Adults watch a monitor honoring the 17 people killed at Douglas High School during a CNN town hall meeting, at the BB&T Center, in Sunrise, Florida, U.S. February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Michael Laughlin/Pool
Adults watch a monitor honoring the 17 students and teachers killed at Douglas High School during a CNN town hall meeting, at the BB&T Center, in Sunrise, Florida, U.S. February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Michael Laughlin/Pool
Fred Guttenberg asks Marco Rubio a question during a CNN town hall meeting, at the BB&T Center, in Sunrise, Florida, U.S. February 21, 2018. Guttenberg lost his daughter Jamie in the Douglas High School shooting. REUTERS/Michael Laughlin/Pool
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students cheer during a CNN town hall meeting, at the BB&T Center, in Sunrise, Florida, U.S. February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Michael Laughlin/Pool
Senator Bill Nelson asks for assault rifles to be removed from the streets during a CNN town hall meeting, at the BB&T Center, in Sunrise, Florida, U.S. February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Michael Laughlin/Pool
CNN's Jake Tapper listens to Senator Marco Rubio during a CNN town hall meeting, at the BB&T Center, in Sunrise, Florida, U.S. February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Michael Laughlin/Pool
Senator Marco Rubio (L) and Congressman Ted Deutch disagree during a CNN town hall meeting, at the BB&T Center, in Sunrise, Florida, U.S. February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Michael Laughlin/Pool
Senator Marco Rubio, (L), explains his position during a CNN town hall meeting, at the BB&T Center, in Sunrise, Florida, U.S. February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Michael Laughlin/Pool
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and parents wait for a CNN town hall meeting to begin, at the BB&T Center, in Sunrise, Florida, U.S. February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Michael Laughlin/Pool
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students listen to sheriff Scott Israel speak before a CNN town hall meeting at the BB&T Center, in Sunrise, Florida, U.S. February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Michael Laughlin/Pool
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel speaks before the start of a CNN town hall meeting at the BB&T Center, in Sunrise, Florida, U.S. February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Michael Laughlin/Pool
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and parents wait for a CNN town hall meeting to begin, at the BB&T Center, in Sunrise, Florida, U.S. February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Michael Laughlin/Pool
Broward County School Superintendent Robert Runcie speaks before a CNN town hall meeting at the BB&T Center, in Sunrise, Florida, U.S. February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Michael Laughlin/Pool
Broward County School Superintendent Robert Runcie speaks before a CNN town hall meeting at the BB&T Center, in Sunrise, Florida, U.S. February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Michael Laughlin/Pool
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students are recognized before a CNN town hall meeting at the BB&T Center, in Sunrise, Florida, U.S. February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Michael Laughlin/Pool
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CNN says that Stevenson and Colton agreed on one question that Colton would ask, but that Haab's father, Glenn Haab, intervened, sending a lengthy speech (see below) that he wanted Colton to read, which included three questions for lawmakers.

Stevenson responded that the speech was "way too long" and that Colton "needs to stick" to the question they agreed on. Glenn then responded that he and his son "are not actors" and that Colton would not participate in the town hall if he could not read the full speech. 

On Friday afternoon, Fox News and the HuffPost reached out to CNN to verify emails between the Haabs and Stevenson that they received from Colton.

A CNN source provided Colton's version of the emails, as well as their versions of all of the communications between the Haabs and CNN, to Business Insider. 

In CNN's version of one email, Stevenson told Glenn that Colton needed to stick to a question that he and Stevenson "discussed on the phone that he submitted." But in the version of the email provided by Colton to Fox and HuffPost, the phrase, "that he submitted" is deleted. 

CNN's version of the email: 

cnn emailCNN

The Haabs' version of the email: 

colton emailCNN

According to the metadata of the Word document containing the email that was provided to Fox, it appears that Glenn last 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."

Glenn did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

The CNN source told Business Insider that Stevenson talked with Colton on the phone after he submitted several questions to the network.

The two decided during the call that Colton would ask one question about training teachers and school staff to carry weapons, the source said. Colton had suggested in an interview with "Fox & Friends" on Tuesday that Aaron Feis, a football coach at the high school who was killed while protecting students, might have stopped the shooter had he been armed.

The source said the final version of the question was made up of the "the verbatim language" Colton used on "Fox & Friends" about Feis in addition to his question about training teachers to be armed, which appears in the email below.

Emails between Glenn Haab and Stevenson: 

0299_001[6] by Michelle on Scribd

On Thursday night, the president tweeted about Carlson's segment, accusing CNN of being "fake news."

"'School shooting survivor says he quit @CNN Town Hall after refusing scripted question.' @TuckerCarlson. Just like so much of CNN, Fake News," Trump wrote. "That's why their ratings are so bad! MSNBC may be worse."

Carlson said he would reveal "new evidence" about Colton's claims during his show on Friday evening.

A Word document with allegedly doctored email exchanges provided to HuffPost that was then sent to CNN:

attachment 1[3].docx by Michelle on Scribd

 

An allegedly doctored email sent to producers at Fox News that was then sent to CNN:

0300_001[1] by Michelle on Scribd

The speech that Glenn provided to Stevenson:

Colton CNN questions[5].docx by Michelle on Scribd

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See Also:

SEE ALSO: CNN denies claims that Florida shooting survivor was given a 'scripted' question to ask at a town hall

 

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