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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.

Go deeper

Updated Jan 11, 2021 - Technology

All the platforms that have banned or restricted Trump so far

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Platforms are rapidly removing Donald Trump’s account or accounts affiliated with pro-Trump violence and conspiracies, like QAnon and #StoptheSteal.

Updated 41 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

DOJ: Capitol rioter threatened to "assassinate" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Supporters of former President Trump storm the U.S. Captiol on Jan. 6. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A Texas man who has been charged with storming the U.S. Capitol in the deadly Jan. 6 siege posted death threats against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the Department of Justice said.

The big picture: Garret Miller faces five charges in connection to the riot by supporters of former President Trump, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and making threats. According to court documents, Miller posted violent threats online the day of the siege, including tweeting “Assassinate AOC.”