Upcoming presidential debate host Steve Scully drew attention for a deleted tweet — possibly intended as a direct message — to outspoken anti-Trump figure Anthony Scaramucci asking whether he should “respond” to criticism directed his way by President Trump.
“@Scaramucci should I respond to trump,” Scully tweeted.
Scaramucci, who lasted only 11 days as White House communications director in 2018, responded: “Ignore. He is having a hard enough time. Some more bad stuff about to go down.”
Scully later deleted the tweet. While C-SPAN did not return a request for comment on what Scully, billed as an impartial journalist, was referencing, the post came after Trump told Fox News’s Sean Hannity in a Thursday night interview that Scully is a “never-Trumper, and I think somebody said he worked for Biden at one point.” Scully interned in Biden’s office in the 1970s.
“These are the people we get, and that’s OK because I’ve had some bad ones over the years and I’ve got an unblemished record I think in the debating world,” Trump continued. “But I will say this, that it is a very sad thing. Now you have, this debate commission’s a joke. The commission’s a joke.”
Following Scully’s tweet, White House deputy communications director Brian Morgenstern told Fox News that Scully “certainly seems not to be very impartial.”
“I love The Mooche, but he’s gone way off the deep end,” Moregenstern said. “He is a wild-eyed critic of the president at this point. And now to have a debate moderator seeking his advice. I think the cat’s out of the bag. I don’t think Mr. Scully is impartial. So that really calls into question, again, the debate commission’s judgment here.”
Following his short stint as White House communications director, Scaramucci began harshly criticizing the president during frequent appearances on cable news and even called for his impeachment.
Scully’s town hall, set for next week, is in limbo after President Trump said he would not participate following an announcement from the Commission on Presidential Debates that “candidates would participate from separate remote locations.”
On Friday, CPD Co-Chair Frank Fahrenkopf told Fox News that Scully’s account “was hacked.”
— Pat Ward (@WardDPatrick) October 9, 2020
CSPAN then released a public statement backing up Fahrenkopf’s claim.
— CSPAN (@cspan) October 9, 2020