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In a story that just keeps getting better, the public tweet from C-SPAN political editor Steve Scully that appeared to have been meant as a direct message to Anthony Scaramucci, did not happen.
Well, it did, but the tweet did not come from Scully, who had been tapped to moderate next week’s town hall between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden because… wait for it — his account was reportedly hacked.
That’s according to Frank Fahrenkopf, co-chair of the Commission on Presidential Debates, which selected Scully for next week’s event, which may not happen now, as the president has scoffed at the body’s unilateral decision to go virtual because he had contracted COVID-19 — White House physician Dr. Sean Conley has said that Trump completed his treatments and should be able to resume “public engagements” on Saturday.
And if that’s not enough, Fox News host Chris Wallace weighed in to defend Scully’s honor. But more on that later.
— Pat Ward (@WardDPatrick) October 9, 2020
The tweet in question, posted Thursday night, tagged Mooch, who now backs Joe Biden, and asked, “should I respond to trump.”
The president was doing a phone-in interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity at the time.
Fahrenkopf said Friday on Fox News Radio’s “The Brian Kilmeade Show” that Scully had been hacked.
“Steve is a man of great integrity, okay?” Fahrenkopf said. “I don’t know this question about whether he tweeted something out or not, I do know, and you’ll probably pick up on it in a minute, that he was hacked… Apparently, there’s something now that’s been on television and the radio saying that he talked to Scaramucci… He was hacked. It didn’t happen.”
C-SPAN also said in a tweet that the account had been hacked:
— CSPAN (@cspan) October 9, 2020
Scully’s tweet in question has been deleted, after Scully’s entire Twitter account was temporarily down.
The online speculation was that Scully “nuked” his account not being sure how to delete the tweet.
He’s back and officially figured out how to delete the tweet alone. Lmao pic.twitter.com/oDvdE2uw0w
— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) October 9, 2020
In a tweet Friday morning, Trump slammed Scully as a “Never Trumper,” calling on the debate commission to “fix” the problem.
“Steve Scully, the second Debate Moderator, is a Never Trumper, just like the son of the great Mike Wallace. Fix!!!”
Steve Scully, the second Debate Moderator, is a Never Trumper, just like the son of the great Mike Wallace. Fix!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 9, 2020
Scully once served as an intern for then-Sen. Joe Biden and worked as a staffer for the late Sen. Ted Kennedy.
But Wallace, who was eviscerated on Twitter after last week’s presidential debate for his bias against Trump, weighed in to support the commission and to say he believes Scully is an “honorable, fair-minded reporter.”
“I am very loyal to the commission on presidential debates. I think they do — I know they are getting hit now for being biased. They’re not,” he said Friday on Fox News’ America’s Newsroom. “I think they are bipartisan and do the best job they can in a very tense and contentious political situation.”
Wallace was commenting before the claim that Scully’s account had been hacked.
“I don’t know that Scully’s tweet is especially helpful,” he said, adding that he is not on Twitter and doesn’t regret the decision.
“I have found that to be an extremely good practice. I’ve never once thought, ‘Boy, I wish I was on Twitter and people could read my tweets,'” Wallace said.
“Do I think Steve Scully is biased? I don’t,” he continued. “I think he is an honorable, fair-minded reporter. This isn’t helpful. How else can you say it? It’s not.”
As for the claim that Scully’s account was “hacked,” well… you could say that social media was skeptical.
Here’s a sampling of responses from Twitter:
Wow, that would be huge news if it were true. And what a bizarre thing for a hacker to tweet. What evidence in support of this claim did CPD Co-Chair Frank Fahrenkopf offer? https://t.co/yz4dVLvYKs
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) October 9, 2020
Is this true? https://t.co/X9nkhXbzyq
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) October 9, 2020
Good crisis comms here, this will surely put the issue to bed and definitely will not invite additional scrutiny and derision https://t.co/7UNWVOdCKd
— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) October 9, 2020
— Comfortably Smug (@ComfortablySmug) October 9, 2020
Does the "I was hacked" excuse ever turn out to be true? https://t.co/CAdp7KSSKs
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) October 9, 2020
The Joy Reid school of comms crisis management, I see.
— LoLNothingMatters (@DastDn) October 9, 2020
Otherwise known as the “Joy Reid Defense.”
— James Klann (@jdklann) October 9, 2020
— Ron Coleman (@RonColeman) October 9, 2020
— Will-o’-the-Wisp (@wharrison51) October 9, 2020
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