Presidential debate moderator Steve Scully 'fired' by C-SPAN after he lied about Scaramucci Twitter hack
C-SPAN suspended its political editor Steve Scully indefinitely Thursday after he admitted to lying about his Twitter feed being hacked when he was confronted about a questionable exchange with former Trump aide Anthony Scaramucci.
The news came on the day of what was supposed to be a career highlight for the 30-year C-SPAN veteran.
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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 diagnosis.
Following Thursday's news the president tweeted: "I was right again! 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?"
A week ago, after Trump had criticized him as a "never Trumper," Scully tweeted "@Scaramucci should I respond to Trump."
Scaramucci, a former Trump communications director and now a critic of the president, advised Scully to ignore him.
Scully said that when he saw his tweet had created a controversy, "I falsely claimed that my Twitter account had been hacked."
He had been frustrated by Trump's comments and several weeks of criticism on social media and conservative news outlets about his role as moderator, including attacks directed at his family, he said.
"These were both errors in judgement for which I am totally responsible for," Scully said. "I apologize."
What are Steve Scully’s political views?
It is unclear whether Scully is a Democrat or a Republican, however Donald Trump has dubbed him a "never Trumper."
The president slammed the reporter on Twitter, writing: "Steve Scully, the second Debate Moderator, is a Never Trumper, just like the son of the great Mike Wallace. Fix!!!"
Alongside Trump's comments, people believe that Scully might swing to the left as he worked for Biden for one month in 1978, according to a biography published by George Washington University.
In a 2011 interview with Cable Center, Scully said: "You know, it was pretty traditional. I came to school in Washington, D.C., went to American University and had a couple of internships. I worked for Joe Biden, Senator from Delaware at the time, as an intern, so I had my first chance to really see politics up close in Washington, D.C."
He said he let down his colleagues at C-SPAN, fellow news professionals and the debate commission. "I ask for their forgiveness as I try to move forward in a moment of reflection and disappointment in myself," he said.
C-SPAN said Scully confessed to lying about the hack on Wednesday.
"He understands that he made a serious mistake," the network said. "We were very saddened by this news and do not condone his actions."
The debate commission did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
Scully has led the network’s presidential election coverage since 1992, but the suspension means he won’t be part of C-SPAN’s election night programming. Scully has been the moderator of "Washington Journal," the weekly call-in program, and regularly hosted other C-SPAN programs.
The network said Scully has consistently demonstrated fairness and professionalism, and built a reservoir of good will.
"After some distance from this episode, we believe in his ability to continue to contribute to C-SPAN," the network said.
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