C-SPAN political editor Steve Scully was suspended from the network indefinitely after he admitted that he lied about being hacked earlier this month.
Scully had claimed his Twitter account was hacked after a questionable post aimed at former President Donald Trump aide Anthony Scaramucci gained public attention on the platform.
News of the admission and suspension broke on Thursday, the same day Scully was supposed to moderate the second presidential debate between Trump and Democrat challenger Joe Biden, but that debate was canceled last week after the Commission on Presidential Debates tried to make it virtual and Trump refused to participate.
Scully had already drawn criticism from some on the right, who claimed he might be biased toward Biden because he interned for him during college in the 1970s.
The tweet in question said, “@Scaramucci should I respond to Trump,” referring to an accusation from Trump that Scully was a “never Trumper.”
Scaramucci replied that Scully should ignore Trump, but after the exchange became popular on Twitter and drew a backlash from some, Scully claimed he was hacked.
“I falsely claimed that my Twitter account had been hacked,” Scully admitted Thursday, adding that he had been frustrated over Trump’s criticism and attacks directed at his family when he posted the controversial comment.
“These were both errors in judgement for which I am totally responsible for,” Scully said. “I apologize.”
He asked forgiveness from his colleagues at C-SPAN, fellow news professionals and the debate commission for his actions. “I ask for their forgiveness as I try to move forward in a moment of reflection and disappointment in myself,” he said.
C-SPAN open to Scully’s return
C-SPAN said that Scully knows he made a serious mistake and that the network doesn’t condone his actions. Because of many years of “building up goodwill,” C-SPAN believes Scully will still be able to contribute to the network in some way.
The time frame for his return has not yet been set, but will be after the election, the AP said.
According to Fox News, though, Scully has a pattern of claiming he was hacked when his tweets draw controversy. He did so on two other instances in 2012 and 2013.