January 26th, 2009
04:57 PM ET
6 months ago

White House press office hit by e-mail outage

Staff for the new, wired president found themselves without e-mail Monday.
Staff for the new, wired president found themselves without e-mail Monday.


WASHINGTON (CNN) –
President Obama has his blackberry — but his tech-savvy press operation has been without e-mail for most of the day, and it’s not yet clear when they’ll get it back.

Obama press staffers had just made the leap to their official White House e-mail addresses Monday morning when the Outlook server went down. They weren’t the only ones affected by the crash, which also hit the first lady’s office and other White House offices.

An apologetic Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters at 1:30 pm press briefing that the server meltdown was responsible for the delay in responding to their e-mailed questions. But late Monday, nearly six hours since the server first went haywire, staffers still can’t use their official e-mail addresses — and a press aide could not tell CNN when the press office might be able to start sending and receiving messages again.

Related: Access to 'BarackBerry' limited to small, select group


Filed under: White House
soundoff (98 Responses)
  1. Rick

    After watching Gibbs stumble through three press briefings now I'm convinced that the entire Obumbler administration has no idea what they're doing. The long national nightmare has just begun.

    January 26, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  2. Jeff in Illinois

    Maybe past VP Dick "Not part of the Executive Branch" Cheney's email deleting process wasn't quite finished.

    January 26, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  3. No Hillary = No Obama

    This Presidency is off to a flubbery start.

    January 26, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  4. Ray Ray

    On No – it's a national emergency! How will Obama know where to go and what to do without his BlackBarry?

    January 26, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  5. common sense

    @rick

    Obama has done more in his first week than Bush did his 2 terms. It's ok, you can say it. "Obama is doing a good job." Try it, it's ok to help those that need it and not those that don't. You know, like Bush helped those who didn't need it.

    January 26, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  6. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Let's play the President Bashing Game. I think it goes like this: Obama's watch, Obama's fault! That's how everyone blamed Bush for everything for the last 8 years. Well Obama's turn now.

    January 26, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  7. Phil

    Am sure Bush never used e-mail. This is all new to the white house staff.

    January 26, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  8. BB

    I worked with an Indian that told me "do not fix all the problems - if we fix everything, we lose our jobs".

    I guess the Indians must have maintained the email system at the WH.

    Put an honest American in there to get it up and running.

    January 26, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  9. IsaacTheForcedCatholic

    Less than one week of mistakes (harmless) is better than 8 years of mistakes (deadly) after mistakes (costly). The right-wingers sure are judgemental, but what do you expect from religious fanatics.

    January 26, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  10. Soccer Nana

    Rick, find a clue. The IT system at the White House that was used during the last administration was antiquated; when the Obama staff upgraded to the MACs those older servers probably couldn't handle the load and crashed.

    That is what happens when "change" is not embraced; you are stuck with outdated things and it is harder to bring them up to current standards and capabilities.

    January 26, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  11. Death of America by Obama

    None of the rules apply to the b.l.k. bast.a.r.d. obama. None.

    January 26, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  12. uv777bk

    I read 'Outlook server' and that's all I needed to know :P

    January 26, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  13. Meh

    Rick> Do you EVER say anything positive? Just wondering....

    January 26, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  14. Manny

    Right Rick and Bush was an all star President!

    Obama has done more in 6 days then Bush could ever imagine. Bush spent more time on vacation then any President. Oh right, he wasn't the real President. That job was really Cheney's.

    At least Obama isn't waging war. Obama has the uneviable job of fixing all the sheeit that Bush screwed up.

    January 26, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  15. Josh

    how is this news?

    January 26, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  16. Mike

    What is CNN's obsession with President Obama's BlackBerry? It is getting old...

    January 26, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  17. barack obama is still just B.O.

    Seems like an Obama administration blunder is replacing thought for the day with "O'blunder of the Day".
    This is going to be a great 4 years.....for the republicans!

    God help our country. We need it now more than ever!

    January 26, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    Think you're cute, huh, Jeff? You're little messiah is going to cause this country great concern after he absolutely ruins all of us! He's picked a bunch of crooks – like the Chicago machinery he comes from. We're in serious trouble!

    January 26, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  19. Jen, OH

    I'm so sick of the Republicans I don't know what to do. They did not win because most Americans favored Barack's ideas. So why are they still trying to shove their ideas down our throats? If we had wanted their ideas, we would have voted for McCain. We didn't, we sent him and Sarah Failin packing.

    So what's up with all this talk about tax cuts and fiscal conservatism. They had their chance and they were not conservative and were not good stewards of our economy. I don't trust them.

    The Dems shoudn't put pork in the bill and certainly not the Republicans. Allow Barack to get his package through without grubby, greedy hands all over it.

    President Obama is in charge, sign his bill and move on.

    January 26, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  20. MrManhattan

    In view of the fact that the server was inherited from the Bush administration, the Obama people probably didn't know to feed the hamsters that turn the gears that make it run.

    January 26, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  21. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    RICK, got a solution, please let Obama know.

    January 26, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  22. Long National Dream has 1413 More Days

    Rick @ 501: You funny – Obumbler – That's great
    How about R-Ick – that's funny, too.
    Or P"rick" – see it's easy.
    or "rickless" – Want More?

    January 26, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  23. GA for Obama

    Rick- it's obvious you're a jeulous, incompetent fool

    January 26, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  24. John J

    B-S Bush didnt know what he was doing either and we're already in a nightmare. getting in school is now much harder because of dumb, arogant, greedy, wannabe republicans made it. Conserve my B-Hind. you bigots are a prime example of how our education system is lacking (finish 3rd grade already),

    you bigots will FAIL in a diverse Society because you refuse to accept the fact that the world doesn't consist of just one. it consists of many. the United States does not consist of one.

    January 26, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  25. Ignored in GA

    Sounds to me like someone in the past administration put in a virus which took out the server. Guess removing the O's from keyboards didn't strike them as being good enough a joke. Either that or Jeff is right.

    As for the "long nightmare", people who think this way should just listen to Rush Limbarf on the radio and not bother their little minds with news that might make them think.

    January 26, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
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