C-SPAN on Friday said that Political Editor Steve Scully’s Twitter account was hacked when it sent out a public message to President Donald Trump’s disgraced former communications director Anthony Scaramucci.
“Should I reply to Trump?” the message from Scully’s account read to Scaramucci before it was deleted.
Steve Scully, the moderator for the next debate, has now deleted this tweet where he appears to be coordinating with Scaramucci and posted publicly instead of DM. pic.twitter.com/jKvGivOSHM
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) October 9, 2020
Scully was to be the moderator of the second presidential debate, originally scheduled for Tuesday. When the commission decided to make the debate virtual, Trump refused to participate. But Scully’s account message to Scaramucci prompted additional drama.
“Steve Scully did not originate the tweet and believes his account has been hacked,” C-SPAN wrote in a statement on Friday.
C-SPAN said that the Commission on Presidential Debates was investigating the tweet.
“Commission on Presidential Debates has stated publicly that the tweet was not sent by Scully himself and is investigating with the help of authorities,” C-SPAN continued. “When additional information is available, we will release it.”
— CSPAN (@cspan) October 9, 2020
Earlier Friday, Frank Fahrenkopf, the co-chairman of Commission on Presidential Debates, claimed that debate moderator Steve Scully’s Twitter account was hacked.
“I don’t know this question about whether he tweeted something out or not, I do know, and you’ll probably pick up on it in a minute, that he was hacked,” Fahrenkopf said in an interview on Brian Kilmeade’s radio show on Friday morning. “Apparently, there’s something now that’s been on television and the radio saying that he talked to Scaramucci… He was hacked. It didn’t happen.”
Scully’s account was later deleted entirely but restored later on Friday.
Trump took notice of the controversy and condemned Scully as a moderator.
“Steve Scully, the second Debate Moderator, is a Never Trumper, just like the son of the great Mike Wallace,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Fix!!!”
Trump’s former press secretary Sean Spicer defended Scully in a message on Twitter, after speaking with him.
I spoke w @SteveScully Only interactions w Scaramucci he has had are a June 2018 tv & 2019 radio @cspan interview. He did not send the tweet. Steve is good man & will make an excellent @debates moderator. CSPAN does an amazing job of giving people unfiltered access #Debates2020
— Sean Spicer (@seanspicer) October 9, 2020
Despite Scully’s overall non-partisan reputation as the political editor of C-SPAN since he first joined the network in 1990, critics scrutinized the fact that Scully was an intern for Joe Biden in 1978.
But Fahrenkopf defended Scully, noting that he interned for Biden in law school.
“Steve is a man of great integrity,” Fahrenkopf said.