Oct 15, 2020 - Politics & Policy

C-SPAN suspends political editor Steve Scully for lying about Twitter hack

Steve Scully

Steve Scully. Photo: Andre Chung for The Washington Post via Getty Images

C-SPAN placed political editor Steve Scully on administrative leave Thursday after he lied about his Twitter account being hacked.

Why it matters: Scully was set to moderate the second presidential debate on Thursday before it was canceled.

Context: Scully sent a tweet last week asking Anthony Scaramucci, a former White House aide who has become a prominent critic of the president, if he should respond to President Trump's attacks on him and the Commission on Presidential Debates.

  • Trump allies used the tweet, which Scully claimed he did not send and was a result of a Twitter hack, to accuse the chosen debate moderator of being anti-Trump.
  • Worth noting: Scully is not being placed on leave for the political bias that some might have claimed he had based off of the tweet, but for using poor judgement and lying.

What they're saying:

"For several weeks, I was subjected to relentless criticism on social media and in conservative news outlets regarding my role as a moderator for the second presidential debate, including attacks aimed directly at my family. This culminated on Thursday, October 8th when I heard President Trump go on national television twice and falsely attack me by name.
Out of frustration, I sent a brief tweet addressed to Anthony Scaramucci. The next morning when I saw that this tweet had created a new controversy, I falsely claimed that my Twitter account had been hacked.
These were both errors in judgement for which I am totally responsible. I apologize."

Trump responded in a tweet Thursday: "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?"

What to watch: "After some distance from this episode, we believe in his ability to continue to contribute to C-SPAN," the nonprofit cable and satellite channel — which is not known to find itself in the center of these types of controversies — said in a separate statement on Thursday.

The big picture: Scully has been with C-SPAN for three decades. As a result of his suspension, he will not be involved in the channel's election-night programming.

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