The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) claims that the cryptic Twitter exchange between upcoming presidential debate moderator Steve Scully of C-SPAN and anti-Trump advocate Anthony Scaramucci, in which Scully asked for advice on responding to President Donald Trump, was the product of a hacker.
“He was hacked, it didn’t happen,” CPD Co-Chair Frank Fahrenkopf told Brian Kilmeade on “The Brian Kilmeade Show” Friday morning.
— Pat Ward (@WardDPatrick) October 9, 2020
While the CPD claimed that Scully’s account was hacked, Fahrenkopf offered no evidence for this explanation. Additionally, Scaramucci has yet to explain why he responded to a supposedly “hacked” tweet.
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
C-SPAN also issued a statement claiming that Scully “did not originate the tweet and believes his account has been hacked.” The network said that the incident is under investigation by authorities.
— CSPAN (@cspan) October 9, 2020
The report comes the day after Scully tagged Scaramucci in a now-deleted Twitter post cryptically asking him for advice on whether to “respond to Trump” just days before the next debate was scheduled to be held.
The former White House communications director who was fired 10 days after his appointment for criticizing the Trump administration responded to the tweet, encouraging Scully to “ignore” Trump because “he is having a hard enough time” and “some more bad stuff about to go down.”
Many speculated that the exchange in question looked like a failed attempt at a direct message.
The CPD has also failed to respond to backlash on social media over Scully’s legitimacy as a presidential debate moderator given his history working for Democratic Senators, including Joe Biden himself, as well as his support for criticism of the Trump administration in the past, raising questions about their ability to remain independent and neutral in their search for moderators.
— Steve Scully (@SteveScully) June 4, 2016
No, Not Trump, Not Ever https://t.co/PFvHTeQSZu
— Steve Scully (@SteveScully) March 18, 2016
The commission, whose board has an average age of over 71 years old, claims it “does not endorse, support, or oppose political candidates or parties,” but has received backlash from Trump for its biased handling of the 2020 debates and picking Scully as a moderator.
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
Not only did the commission announce it would be changing the already agreed-upon debate rules following the first presidential debate, but it also announced on Thursday that the second debate on Oct. 15, which was supposed to be moderated by Scully, would be held virtually instead of in Miami.
It is reported that the debate will be postphoned and instead, Biden is now scheduled to partake in an ABC town hall event on Oct. 15 and Trump will be hosting a rally.