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C-SPAN reinstates Steve Scully after he lied about his Twitter account being hacked

Steve Scully, the C-SPAN anchor who was caught lying about his Twitter account being hacked when he sent a message to a critic of President Trump just before he was set to moderate a debate, will remain at the cable network, it was announced.

Scully, who was placed on administrative leave in October, will initially return to an off-camera role.

No date has been set for Scully’s return to on-air programming.

‘Steve Scully, who was placed on administrative leave in mid-October for Twitter-related controversies in conjunction with the second presidential debate, is returning to duty at C-SPAN beginning this week,’ the network said in a statement.

‘His initial assignments will be off-air producing for C-SPAN television and resumption of his work on C-SPAN Radio’s “Washington Today” program and “The Weekly,” a podcast/interview program.

C-SPAN’s Steve Scully, who was put on administrative leave after he lied about his Twitter account being hacked after he dashed off a tweet to Trump critic Anthony Scaramucci seeking advice, has been reinstated, the cable network announced on Tuesday

President Trump

Anthony Scaramucci

Days before Scully was set to moderate the second presidential debate between President Trump (left) and now-President-elect Joe Biden, the president went on Fox News and called Scully a ‘never Trumper.’ Scully then sent a tweet to former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci (right), a fierce critic of the president, asking how he should reply

‘No date has been set for his return to C-SPAN’s roster of on-air television hosts.

‘We view October’s events as a singular episode in an otherwise successful 30- year C-SPAN career.

‘And while it was appropriate in October for Steve to be immediately relieved of his duties leading our 2020 election coverage, we reiterate our belief that now, having completed a three-month administrative leave, he can continue to contribute to CSPAN’s mission.’

On October 15, Scully was set to moderate a town hall style debate between Trump and now-President-elect Joe Biden.

Days before the event, Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity that he thought Scully was a ‘never Trumper’ who had worked for Biden at one point. 

Scully served as an intern for then-Senator Biden for a month in 1978.

‘Never Trumper’ is a term used to refer to Republican opponents of the president.

The same evening after Trump’s interview with Hannity, Scully posted a message on Twitter addressed to Anthony Scaramucci, a former White House communications director who later became a critic of the president.

On October 8, Scully got in hot water after he sent a tweet to Anthony Scaramucci, a top Trump critic, asking, 'should I respond to Trump?' The president had just called Scully a 'Never Trumper' on Sean Hannity's show

On October 8, Scully got in hot water after he sent a tweet to Anthony Scaramucci, a top Trump critic, asking, ‘should I respond to Trump?’ The president had just called Scully a ‘Never Trumper’ on Sean Hannity’s show 

Scaramucci had replied to Steve Scully's message, telling the C-SPAN anchor to 'ignore' Trump calling him a 'Never Trumper'

Scaramucci had replied to Steve Scully’s message, telling the C-SPAN anchor to ‘ignore’ Trump calling him a ‘Never Trumper’ 

The next day, Scully tweeted out that he had been hacked, which he now says was a lie. C-SPAN reacted by putting him on administrative leave

The next day, Scully tweeted out that he had been hacked, which he now says was a lie. C-SPAN reacted by putting him on administrative leave 

The tweet, which appeared on Scully’s Twitter account on October 8, read: ‘@Scaramucci should I respond to trump.’

‘Ignore. He is having a hard enough time,’ Scaramucci replied.

The next day, Scully tweeted he had been hacked.  

‘I apologize for some earlier TWEETS…account was hacked…those tweets did not come from me. Thanks for alerting me,’ Scully wrote, initialing the message ‘SS.’   

The Commission on Presidential Debates responded by reporting the hack to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and to Twitter. 

‘And we understand that the federal authorities and Twitter are looking into the issue,’ the CPD announced on October 9.  

The Miami presidential debate was supposed to take place on October 15, but was cancelled after Trump refused to participate virtually.  

The commission cited health concerns following Trump’s coronavirus infection as the reason for the change. 

The next week, Scully acknowledged to C-SPAN that he lied about his Twitter account being hacked. The network then placed Scully on administrative leave.

‘By not being immediately forthcoming to C-SPAN and the Commission about his tweet, he understands that he made a serious mistake,’ a statement from C-SPAN said. 

‘We were very saddened by this news and do not condone his actions.’

C-SPAN applauded the ‘fairness and professionalism’ Scully had demonstrated in his 30 years at the cable channel. 

C-SPAN initially put out a statement in support of Scully's story - that he had been hacked

C-SPAN initially put out a statement in support of Scully’s story – that he had been hacked 

‘He has built a reservoir of goodwill among those he has interviewed, fellow journalists, our viewers, and with us,’ the statement said. 

‘After some distance from this episode, we believe in his ability to continue to contribute to C-SPAN,’ the network said. 

Scully said he was motivated to lie because of the ‘relentless criticism on social media and in conservative news outlets regarding my role as moderator for the second presidential debate, including attacks aimed directly at my family.’  

He said the culminating moment of these attacks was when Trump called him out by name on Hannity, which was the president’s second call-in appearance last Thursday as he was homebound at the White House recovering from the coronavirus. 

The president reacted enthusiastically to the news about Scully being placed on administrative leave.

‘I was right again!’ Trump tweeted. 

‘Steve Scully just admitted he was lying about his Twitter being hacked. The Debate was Rigged! He was suspended from C-SPAN indefinitely. The Trump Campaign was not treated fairly by the “Commission”. Did I show good instincts in being the first to know?’ the president wrote.         


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