C-SPAN’s longtime political editor Steve Scully was suspended indefinitely Thursday after he admitted that he had lied about his Twitter feed being hacked, last week.
The journalist created a stir on Twitter last Thursday night when he asked Anthony Scaramucci, a rabid Trump critic, for advice on whether he should respond to the president.
Scully was slated to host a C-SPAN town hall debate between President Donald Trump and Democrat nominee Joe Biden on October 15, but the event was cancelled after President Trump refused to participate in a “virtual” town hall” remotely.
Earlier that evening, President Trump had told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that the potential C-SPAN moderator had an anti-Trump bias, and once interned for Joe Biden.
“He’s a never-Trumper and I think somebody said he worked for Biden at one point!” Trump exclaimed. “These are the people we get.”
Scully asked the Trump-hating Scaramucci publicly on Twitter if he should respond to Trump.
The Mooch tweeted back that he should “ignore” the president.
“He is having a hard enough time,” Scaramucci said, adding cryptically, “Some more bad stuff about to go down.”
According to the Associated Press, when Scully saw that his tweet had gone viral, “I falsely claimed that my Twitter account had been hacked.”
The excuse caused even more unwanted attention on social media for the C-SPAN host because virtually no one believed him.
Scully said that at the time, he was “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,” the AP reported.
“These were both errors in judgement for which I am totally responsible for,” Scully said. “I apologize.”
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.”
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.
C-SPAN signaled that as soon as the controversy blows over, Scully will be back covering politics for the network.
“After some distance from this episode, we believe in his ability to continue to contribute to C-SPAN,” the network said.
“This is a big story, and a big black eye for the Debate Commission,” said Fox News anchor Bret Baier, pointing out that the commission “already had black eyes” because of the way it had handled the C-SPAN town hall debate, and how it had stated affirmatively that Scully’s Twitter account had been hacked when it hadn’t.
“This is bad,” Baier repeated. “Obviously he’s been suspended indefinitely from C-SPAN and you feel for him,” he added. “It’s a sad, sad thing, but it’s not a good look for the Presidential Debate Commission.”
Fox News White House correspondent John Roberts said that Scully lied to him also when he asked him if he had really been hacked.
“He said, yes, that’s correct, so he was not truthful to me either,” Roberts said.