Presidential debate moderator Steve Scully raised eyebrows on Thursday night with a tweet that is having critics question his objectivity ahead of the second matchup between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Scully, who is best known as the political editor of C-SPAN and host of “Washington Journal,” sent a cryptic message that caused quite a stir on social media.
“@Scaramucci should I respond to trump,” according to a tweet from his account.
That message appeared to be directed at former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, who was once a supporter of President Trump but has since joined the #Resistance and has been outspoken in favor of Biden’s candidacy.
Scully, whose October 15-scheduled town hall event had been crumbling after President Trump withdrew from the now-virtual debate, sparked confusion and fury among critics, many concluding that the moderator meant to send such a message to Trump’s foe privately.
“odd thing for the next debate moderator to tweet,” Politico reporter Alex Thompson reacted.
“This is not going to help the idea that Scully is *in any way* an objective and unbiased journalist and moderator,” NewsBusters managing Curtis Houck wrote.
“It appears that our moderator for the next debate thinks he’s dm’ing with Scaramucci but accidentally tweeted at him. I’m sure he’ll be a fair and unbiased moderator,” Daily Caller’s Greg Price said.
“What? Why is the next presidential debate moderator publicly asking one of Trump’s staunchest critics in Anthony Scaramucci if he should respond to the president? In a related story, Scully once interned for Sen. Joe Biden. Optics here are horrible & underscore mistrust is media,” The Hill media reporter Joe Concha tweeted.
Scaramucci seemed to offer him advice on how to deal with the president.
“Ignore. He is having a hard enough time. Some more bad stuff about to go down.”
Neither the Commission on Presidential Debates nor C-SPAN immediately responded to Fox News’ requests for comment.
Scully’s credibility as an unbiased debate moderator was previously questioned after it became known that he previously served as an intern for then-Senator Biden and served as a staffer for the late Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy.
Another tweet of Scully’s from the 2016 election showed him sharing a New York Times op-ed titled, “No, Not Trump, Not Ever.”
Trump pulled out of the Scully-moderated debate after the Commission on Presidential Debates unilaterally announced that it would be turning the Miami town hall into a virtual event as the president continues his recovery from the coronavirus.
Biden subsequently withdrew from the debate and has since already scheduled an ABC News town hall scheduled for the night that the debate was supposed to take place.