However, it was canceled after the Commission on Presidential Debates announced that the event would be moved to a virtual format. Shortly after the news broke, Trump said, “I’m not going to do a virtual debate.”
“I’m not going to waste my time on a virtual debate,” he added.
That event was originally slated to be moderated by Senior Executive Producer and Political Editor for C-SPAN Steve Scully. However, conservative outlets began to attack Scully and accuse him of being biased towards Biden. In an Oct. 9 tweet, Trump called Scully a “Never Trumper.”
After the president’s attacks, Scully’s said in a since-deleted tweet, “@Scaramucci should I respond to Trump.” Anthony Scaramucci is a former Trump communications director turned critic.
C-SPAN initially said, “Steve Scully did not originate the tweet and believes his account has been hacked.”
“The Commission on Presidential Debates has stated publicly that the tweet was not sent by Scully himself and is investigating with the help of authorities. When additional information is available, we will release it,” it added.
However, on Thursday afternoon, the network said in a statement that Scully admitted that he lied about being hacked and “understands that he made a serious mistake.”
“We were very saddened by this news and do not condone his actions,” the statement continued. “After some distance from this episode, we believe in his ability to continue to contribute to C-SPAN.”
Scully released his own statement acknowledged, “Out of frustration, I sent a brief tweet addressed to Anthony Scaramucci. The next morning when I saw that this tweet had created a new controversy, I falsely claimed my Twitter account had been hacked. These were both errors in judgment for which I am totally responsible. I apologize.”
“These actions have let down a lot of people, including my colleagues at C-SPAN, where I have worked for the past 30 years, professional colleagues in the media, and the team at the Commission on Presidential Debates. I ask for their forgiveness as I try to move forward in a moment of reflection and disappointment in myself,” he added.
Steve Scully admits he lied when he said his account had been hacked. He takes full responsibility. pic.twitter.com/EjAahb4Uio
— Philip Melanchthon Wegmann (@PhilipWegmann) October 15, 2020
Trump quickly responded to the news, “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?” he added.
Trump campaign Communications Direct Tim Murtaugh said the news about Scully is “bad” but “far from the biggest problem with the biased Commission on Presidential Debates.”
Murtaugh continued to claim the CPD is “filled with pro-Biden Democrats” and decided to make the second debate virtual to “benefit Joe Biden.”
He added that Trump looks forward to debating Biden on Oct. 22
Instead of participating in a second debate, Biden and Trump will hold dueling town hall events tonight at 8 p.m.
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