C-SPAN Political Editor Steve Scully has been indefinitely suspended from the network for falsely claiming his Twitter account had been hacked following a public interaction with Anthony Scaramucci on the social media website about President Donald Trump.
Scully, the moderator of the since-cancelled second Trump-Biden presidential debate, told C-SPAN that he had lied about the supposed hacking attempt on Wednesday evening, according to a statement from the network.
“By not being immediately forthcoming to C-SPAN and the commission about his tweet, he understands that he made a serious mistake. We were very saddened by this news and do not condone his actions,” said C-SPAN in a statement.
Scully said in a statement that his tweet to Scaramucci was sent “out of frustration,” and that he lied about its origins when he saw that it had “created new controversy.”
“These were both errors in judgement for which I am totally responsible. I apologize,” said Scully.
In a statement, C-SPAN continued: “During his 30 years at C-SPAN, Steve consistently demonstrated his fairness and professionalism as a journalist. He has built a reservoir of goodwill among those he has interviewed, fellow journalists, our viewers, and with us.”
C-SPAN added that Scully has been placed on “administrative leave,” and may return after “some distance from this episode,” as the network “believes in his ability to continue to contribute” to them.
Steve Scully Admits to Lying About Twitter Hacking
Scully, in a statement, admitted that he lied about making a statement to Anthony Scaramucci, a former aide to President Donald Trump who became a critic. “I am totally responsible” for the post, he said.
He was selected to moderate a now-canceled town hall event with Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden. But a Twitter post last week sent from his account indicated that he reached out to Scaramucci before later saying that he was hacked. “Should I respond to Trump” is what he wrote to Scaramucci’s account. “Ignore. He is having a hard enough time. Some more bad stuff about to go down,” Scaramucci replied.
C-SPAN and the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) both mounted a defense of Scully. The commission later said that an investigation is underway.
However, C-SPAN, in a statement on Thursday, said that Scully “made us and the Commission aware of this new information late Wednesday.” It added that “by not being immediately forthcoming” to the two, Scully “understands that he made a serious mistake,” according to the statement.
But the company indicated that he would not be fired from his job.
“Starting immediately, we have placed Steve on administrative leave,” the firm said. “After some distance from this episode, we believe in his ability to continue to contribute to C-SPAN.”
C-SPAN included a statement from Scully.
“Out of frustration I sent a brief tweet addressed to Anthony Scaramucci,” Scully said in a statement. “The next morning when I saw that this tweet had created a new controversy, I falsely claimed that my Twitter account had been hacked.”
He also complained of having been attacked on social media and in “conservative news outlets” about his moderating the debate ahead of time and reacted accordingly.
Scully was originally chosen to be the moderator for the second presidential debate, which was canceled.
The news came on the day of what was supposed to be a career highlight for the 30-year C-SPAN veteran. Scully was to moderate the second debate between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden, which was canceled after Trump would not agree to a virtual format because of his COVID-19 diagnosis.
President Trump touted Scully’s suspension on Twitter.
“I was right again!” the president exclaimed. “Steve Scully just admitted he was lying about his Twitter being hacked. The Debate was Rigged! He was suspended from @cspan indefinitely. The Trump Campaign was not treated fairly by the ‘Commission’. Did I show good instincts in being the first to know?”