The apparent request for advice from Scully’s account came after the Oct. 15 town hall, which was to be moderated by Scully, was thrown into disarray following the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates’ decision to hold the forum virtually in light of Trump’s Covid-19 diagnosis. The announcement touched off a day of finger-pointing between the Trump campaign and the campaign of Democrat Joe Biden.
Frank Fahrenkopf, the co-founder and Republican co-chair of the independent debate commission, said Friday that Scully’s twitter account was hacked.
“Steve is a man of great integrity,” Fahrenkopf said in a radio interview with Fox News host Brian Kilmeade. “It didn’t happen.”
C-SPAN, too, said in a statement that Scully “did not originate the tweet and believes his account has been hacked.”
Scaramucci publicly replied Thursday night to the tweet in question prior to its deletion, writing “Ignore. He is having a hard enough time. Some more bad stuff about to go down.”
On Friday Scaramucci said he believed Scully’s explanation that he did not pen the tweet.
“I accept @SteveScully at his word,” Scaramucci wrote minutes prior to Trump’s attack. “Let’s not cancel anymore people from our culture for absolutely something like this. It’s insignificant. He is an objective journalist.”
Hacking has been used as a frequent explanation for public figures defending actions online. Former California Rep. Katie Hill invoked it earlier this week after her old Congressional Twitter account posted messages purportedly sent by “Katie’s former staff” blasting the forthcoming film adaptation of her memoir.
“Control of my account was immediately handed back to the House Clerk when I resigned, including password changes and access restrictions,” Hill wrote. “God knows who hacked it from there. Reported to @twitter.”
A massive attack this summer against Twitter compromised high-profile accounts belonging to figures like former President Barack Obama, former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg and musician-cum-presidential candidate Kanye West.
That breach was part of a Bitcoin scheme that’s led to charges for a Florida teenager and two adults. The social media platform in September required certain politicians and journalists to fortify their security passwords to prevent similar attacks.