President Donald Trump is taking a victory lap after his instincts about the now-scrapped second presidential debate were vindicated.
The president gave himself credit for predicting that the scheduled town hall event was “rigged” after its moderator, C-SPAN anchor Steve Scully, admitted to lying about his Twitter account being hacked. It’s a revelation that Trump’s friend and conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh called “a bombshell that the debate commission won’t live down.”
“I was right again!”
According to the Daily Caller, Scully was suspended “indefinitely” Thursday by C-SPAN after he fessed up to having lied about a tweet that called his ability to moderate the debate into question.
The journalist had — in what was likely intended as a direct message but was accidentally posted publicly — asked outspoken Trump critic Anthony Scaramucci whether he should respond to the president’s accusations that he had an anti-Trump bias, tweeting: “@Scaramucci should I respond to Trump[?]”
Limbaugh, for his part, said that Trump showed “cunning” by calling out a fishy situation that he said dealt indelible damage to the Commission on Presidential Debates. “Trump’s cunning to sense in advance that the second town hall debate was rigged is amazing,” Limbaugh tweeted Thursday.
Trump congratulated himself as well, tweeting, “Did I show good instincts in being the first to know?”
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
The ongoing debate fiasco
According to the Daily Caller, Trump and others had pointed to Scully’s past work with Joe Biden — the Democratic presidential nominee — and a David Brooks column that Scully shared in 2016 entitled, “No, Not Trump, Not Ever,” to show that the C-SPAN reporter was prejudiced against the president.
In a statement after admitting the truth, Scully said he sent the tweet “out of frustration” after being “subjected to relentless criticism” including from Trump, and then lied about being hacked.
“These were both errors in judgment for which I am totally responsible,” he said, as the Daily Caller reported.
The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) initially promoted Scully’s claim that he was hacked, according to Fox News, and the commission also came under fire after abruptly changing the debate’s format to virtual, then canceling it outright after Trump refused to accept the changes. Some speculated that the CPD scrapped the debate to protect Scully, Fox noted.
Instead, President Trump and Joe Biden participated in separate town halls Thursday night on NBC and ABC, respectively, though many felt that NBC moderator Savannah Guthrie came with knives sharpened for the president. NBC’s Kristen Welker is set to moderate a final debate between the two candidates on Thursday, Oct. 22.