In the wake of a deadly mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, CNN staff claimed on-air that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was too afraid to come on the air to talk about his record on gun policy.
At least 17 people were killed on Wednesday in one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history. In the hours and days following, the media has focused on gun control. CNN’s Chris Cuomo blasted Cruz in a segment of “New Day” on Thursday morning, claiming the Texas senator and other top Republicans were unwilling to appear on his CNN show, but did interviews on Fox News about the tragedy earlier that day.
“What are they afraid of?” Cuomo asked. The network also aired a graphic posing the question with Cruz’s face underneath.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) February 15, 2018
Cruz and his staff are saying CNN’s claim that he was “afraid” to talk to CNN is a lie. Catherine Frazier, a senior communications advisor for the Texas senator, tweeted that “New Day” asked Cruz to come on the show at 8:11 a.m. on Thursday — just 28 minutes before Cuomo accused Cruz of being too scared to talk to him, at 8:39 a.m.
Later that afternoon, Cruz said he spoke with CNN in a 15-minute-long interview that has yet to be aired.
Here's a pic of the @CNN interview — a 15-min exclusive given yesterday — that y'all still haven't aired… (While falsely claiming I'm "afraid" to talk to CNN.) https://t.co/Bo8AzsuGFX pic.twitter.com/sEtt4bTeUT
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) February 16, 2018
That same afternoon, Cuomo doubled down on his earlier claims in a tweet that linked to a The Hill writeup of his earlier segment.
If Cruz thinks gun control improvement is not the answer, what is? Ask the question, Senator: what are we going to do to stop school shootings? Don’t just say what won’t work, work to find an answer! https://t.co/NAmAQOTudu
— Christopher C. Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) February 15, 2018
Cuomo did not respond to our request for comment.