C-SPAN announced Thursday that political editor Steve Scully was suspended indefinitely after admitting to falsely claiming that his Twitter account had been “hacked” after he publicly asked anti-Trump activist Anthony Scaramucci if he should “respond” to criticism from President Trump.
“Out of frustration, I sent a brief tweet addressed to Anthony Scaramucci,” Scully — picked to moderate the now-cancelled presidential debate — 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.”
Scully blamed “relentless criticism on social media and in conservative news outlets” for frustration that “culminated” in his tweet to Scaramucci, which stemmed from Trump criticizing him to Sean Hannity and calling him a “never-Trumper.”
“These were both errors in judgement for which I am totally responsible,” he said.
C-SPAN said Scully confessed to lying about his actions 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.” It added that “after some distance from this episode, we believe in his ability to continue to contribute to C-SPAN.”
Scaramucci reacted to the news by criticizing the decision, calling it a “brutal outcome for a silly non political tweet.”
Brutal outcome for a silly non political tweet. Nothing objectionable. Cancel culture going too far. https://t.co/ymPKOGJemi
— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) October 15, 2020
Trump tweeted that Scully’s admission proved the “Debate was Rigged!” and that “The Trump Campaign was not treated fairly by the ‘Commission’.”
Last week, Scully’s tweet — apparently meant as a private message — raised eyebrows and prompted questions of bias. White House deputy communications director Brian Morgenstern told Fox News that Scully “certainly seems not to be very impartial.”
Scully later deleted the tweet and claimed he was “hacked,” and the Commission on Presidential Debates announced that it had “reported the apparent hack to the FBI and Twitter, and we understand that the federal authorities and Twitter are looking into the issue.”
Steve Scully notified us that his Twitter account was hacked. CPD reported the apparent hack to the FBI and Twitter, and we understand that the federal authorities and Twitter are looking into the issue.
— CPD (@debates) October 9, 2020
Twitter sleuths then pointed out that Scully had made similar claims of being “hacked” on Twitter multiple times over his career.