C-SPAN suspends editor who falsely claimed his Twitter account was hacked

Steve Scully of C-SPAN speaks at the White House Correspondents Association annual dinner on May 9, 2009 at the Washington Hilton hotel in Washington.
(Image credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

C-SPAN political editor Steve Scully has been suspended after admitting he falsely claimed to have been hacked when he faced criticism for a tweet sent to former White House staffer Anthony Scaramucci.

The network announced Scully's indefinite suspension on Thursday, saying he admitted the day before to lying about being hacked, The Associated Press reports. Scully was set to moderate the second 2020 presidential debate before its cancellation.

"He understands that he made a serious mistake," C-SPAN said. "We were very saddened by this news and do not condone his actions."

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Scully had raised eyebrows when he tweeted to Scaramucci, the former White House communications director who has come out against President Trump since his brief tenure, and asked him, "should I respond to Trump?" Trump had recently attacked Scully as a "never-Trumper." C-SPAN released a statement saying Scully "did not originate the tweet and believes his account has been hacked," adding that the Commission on Presidential Debates was investigating with authorities' help.

But Scully on Thursday admitted that he did, in fact, send the tweet to Scaramucci himself "out of frustration" after he heard Trump attack him on television.

"The next morning when I saw that this tweet had created a new controversy, I falsely claimed that my Twitter account had been hacked," Scully said. "These were both errors in judgement for which I am totally responsible. I apologize."

Trump was quick to celebrate Scully's suspension in a tweet, claiming, "I was right again!" C-SPAN said that "after some distance from this episode, we believe in his ability to continue to contribute to C-SPAN," while Scully asked for "forgiveness as I try to move forward in a moment of reflection and disappointment in myself."

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.