C-SPAN suspended its political editor Steve Scully indefinitely Thursday after he admitted to lying about his Twitter feed being hacked.
Scully, who was chosen by the Commission on Presidential Debates to moderate the now-canceled town hall event between President Donald Trump and Democrat nominee Joe Biden, raised eyebrows last Friday after a message posted to his Twitter account seemed to ask Anthony Scaramucci whether he should respond to criticism he received from Trump.
The FBI and Twitter were investigating Scully's claim.
Trump tweeted Thursday in a bow for calling out the fraud first:
"I was right again! Steve Scully just admitted he was lying about his Twitter being hacked. The Debate was Rigged! He was suspended from @cspan indefinitely. The Trump Campaign was not treated fairly by the 'Commission'. Did I show good instincts in being the first to know?"
Trump said Sunday that Scully lied about being hacked to hide his shame.
"You look at this guy Scully, he turned out to be a fraud," Trump told Fox News. "He said he was hacked.
"You know, Anthony Weiner said he was hacked too," referring to the disgraced former New York lawmaker who is now a convicted sex offender.
"They all say they were hacked. Every time something happens where they did something and got caught, the first thing they do is say, 'Oh, we were hacked.'"
The news came on the day of what was supposed to be a career highlight for the 30-year C-SPAN veteran.
A week ago, after Trump had criticized him as a "never Trumper," Scully tweeted "@Scaramucci should I respond to Trump." Scaramucci, a former Trump communications director and now a critic of the president, advised Scully to ignore him.
Scully said, when he saw his tweet had created a controversy, "I falsely claimed that my Twitter account had been hacked."
He had been 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, he said.
"These were both errors in judgment 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 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."
The debate commission did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
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.
The network said Scully has consistently demonstrated fairness and professionalism, and built a reservoir of good will.
"After some distance from this episode, we believe in his ability to continue to contribute to C-SPAN," the network said.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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