Well, that took an abrupt turn.
On the same day that he was supposed to moderate a hotly anticipated debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden, things could not have taken a worse turn for C-SPAN political editor Steve Scully.
Scully found himself at the center of controversy when he tweeted at former Trump administration communications director Anthony Scaramucci: “should I respond to trump.”
Moderator Steve Scully deleted this tweet. Neither he nor the Presidential Debate Commission have addressed why he was asking a Trump loather for counsel on responding to Trump. Horrific problem here for the “independent” debate commission, in their worst year ever. https://t.co/rqChwmySQl
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) October 9, 2020
“I falsely claimed that my Twitter account had been hacked,” Scully said.
According to the AP, Scully claimed to be frustrated by online harassment in regard to his impartiality for the second debate.
“These were both errors in judgement for which I am totally responsible for,” Scully said. “I apologize.”
The implication of the controversy, obviously, is that a debate moderator should not be soliciting any advice about a debater from a biased source, regardless of context.
Given Scaramucci’s public disdain for and opposition to Trump, he certainly qualifies as a biased source.
— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) August 24, 2020
For his part, Scaramucci dismissed the controversy as “a silly non political tweet.”
Brutal outcome for a silly non political tweet. Nothing objectionable. Cancel culture going too far. https://t.co/ymPKOGJemi
— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) October 15, 2020
Someone else chiming in on the controversy? The president himself.
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?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 15, 2020
“I was right again!” Trump tweeted Thursday. “Steve Scully just admitted he was lying about his Twitter being hacked. The Debate was Rigged!”