C-SPAN political editor Steve Scully has been placed on administrative leave by the cable channel, after he falsely claimed that his Twitter account was hacked.
Scully, who was scheduled to be the moderator this evening for the second debate between President Trump and former Vice President Biden, had said his account was hacked after a brief tweet addressed to former White House comms chief Anthony Scaramucci appeared on his account, asking whether he should respond to attacks from Trump.
“For several weeks, I was subjected to relentless criticism on social media and in conservative news outlets regarding my role as moderator for the second presidential debate, including attacks aimed directly at my family,” Scully said in a statement, adding that he subsequently sent the errant tweet. “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.”
“By not being immediately forthcoming to C-SPAN and the Commission about his tweet, he understands that he made a serious mistake,” a statement from C-SPAN reads. “We were very saddened by this news and do not condone his actions. During his 30 years at C-SPAN, Steve consistently demonstrated his fairness and professionalism as a journalist. He has built a reservoir of goodwill among those he has interviewed, fellow journalists, our viewers, and with us. Starting immediately, we have placed Steve on administrative leave. After some distance from this episode, we believe in his ability to continue to contribute to C-SPAN.”
The town hall debate that Scully was slated to moderate tonight was canceled last week following Trump’s battle with COVID-19. Instead, ABC will host a town hall with Biden, while NBC will host a town hall with Trump. Scully has been with C-SPAN since 1990, and has hosted its weekly call-in show Washington Journal.