C-SPAN political editor Steve Scully, whom the Commission on Presidential Debates had chosen to moderate the now-cancelled second Donald Trump/Joe Biden debate, has been suspended indefinitely from the network for lying, the Associated Press reports.
Per AP, Scully admitted to fabricating a story about a message posted to his Twitter account in early October. The since-deleted message to former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci asked “should I respond to Trump,” which seemed to refer to a Trump tweet in which the president called Scully a “Never Trumper.”
C-SPAN issued a statement the next day. “Steve Scully did not originate the tweet and believes his account has been hacked,” it read. “The Commission on Presidential Debates has stated publicly that the tweet was not sent by Scully himself and is investigating with the help of authorities.”
Scully reportedly has since confessed to lying about the tweet, which he said he fired off after weeks of social media attacks regarding his role in the debate. He apologized, calling both the tweet and the attempt to classify it as a hacker’s work as “both errors in judgement for which I am totally responsible for.”
Scully has been with the network for 30 years and is a fixture of its Washington, D.C., reporting, though the suspension means he will not appear on air as part of its upcoming election-night coverage. He also appears on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal and other shows.
“After some distance from this episode, we believe in his ability to continue to contribute to C-SPAN,” the network told the AP.
After Trump pulled out of a virtual debate with Biden, originally scheduled for tonight, both candidates will hold separate town halls on competing broadcast networks. Biden’s will air at 8/7c on ABC; Trump’s will take place at 8 on NBC.