June 24th, 2010
04:45 PM ET
4 years ago

Obama to Medvedev: Throw away red phones for Twitter

 President Barack Obama joked Thursday that the popular microblogging service Twitter could replace 'the red phone,' a longstanding icon of the Cold War.
President Barack Obama joked Thursday that the popular microblogging service Twitter could replace 'the red phone,' a longstanding icon of the Cold War.

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama joked Thursday that the popular microblogging service Twitter could replace "the red phone," a longstanding icon of the Cold War that established a direct line of communication between the United States and the Soviet Union.

During a joint press conference with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Obama touched on Twitter in the course of mentioning Medvedev's interest in technology and innovation.

"As a personal passion of the president and during his visit to Silicon Valley this week, he was at the headquarter of Twitters, where he opened his own account," Obama said. "I have one as well so we may finally be able to throw away those red phones that have been sitting around for so long."

While visiting San Francisco Wednesday, Medvedev sent out his first tweet.

"Hello everyone! I'm on Twitter, and this is my first tweet," the Russian president said, according to the English language version of Medvedev's official Twitter account.

In his second tweet, he noted he was visiting Apple, Yandex and Cisco and his third tweet was a TwitPic from his hotel window.

Medvedev (@KremlinRussia) is currently following @WhiteHouse (the White House's official Twitter account), @BarackObama (Obama's original campaign Twitter account now run by Organizing for America) and @Number10gov (the official Twitter account for the U.K. Prime Minister). @BarackObama and @WhiteHouse are both following the Kremlin back.

Obama, who has over 4 million followers on Twitter, referred to the popular social network incorrectly as "Twitters."

Last year, during a press conference in China, Obama admitted he actually never used Twitter. But since then, Obama has personally sent at least one tweet – and made presidential history in the process.

CNN's Natalie Novak Contributed to this Report


Filed under: President Obama • Twitter
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    This diplomacy stuff is cool. Get rid of the red phones guys.

    June 24, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  2. Muffet

    How cool is that!

    June 24, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  3. Joe

    I can understand mindless kids wasting their time sending drivel on twitter, but the two most powerful men in the world?

    June 24, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  4. Larry

    LOL. Can Twitter be secured?

    Welcome to the second millenium.

    This was a good meeting for President Obama. Our relationship with Russia plays into our involvement in Afghanistan.

    June 24, 2010 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  5. Brian in MD

    So this and missile defense is what Obama traded for Russia's backing of those useless "sanctions" against Iran?

    Barry just keeps getting played over and over.

    June 24, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  6. Jack Kegley

    Way to cherry pick the results. In each of the three races that Sarah Palin endorsed, she did so with the endorsed candidates showing in most cases a double digit lead in the polls. Lets see her endorse a candidate in the early stages of a contest when the outcome is less obvious and then track your results. Lets also see if the candidate that she picks win the election in November. Then we might have a better idea.

    June 24, 2010 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  7. Peter E

    It's a good thing some people realize the Cold War is over. That won't stop the mainstream media on trying to propagate myths anyway in order to scare the public.

    June 24, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  8. Augsbee

    Wait a minute, he's never used twitter????? Everyone told me that Obama was the right guy for the White House because he was going to be the first President who used today's technology, used twitter, used an ipod, used a cell phone, did text messaging, was modern unlike Bush who couldn't turn on a computer!!!!!!!!

    Honestly, this is why we get upset at the Democrat party, because everything you've been told is not always 100% they way it was told to you, you feel like you forgot to read the small print because there was a catch to it. I am not impressed!!!!!! I'm upset!!!!!

    June 24, 2010 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  9. Stacie

    BUT are they FB friends who send birthday wishes to each other and invites to events and poke each other. Maybe they play farmville together, LOL!

    June 24, 2010 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  10. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Yeah don't buy the neo-Confederate warmonger hype about starting a new Cold War with Russia. The last thing America needs is a fascist right-wing hijack funded by the military-industrial complex.

    June 24, 2010 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  11. wasting their time sending drivel on twitter

    I agree; this is just a dumb comment by Obama, really not catchy, amusing, smart or relavent

    Obama, you are capable of doing better than this tweet discussion

    June 24, 2010 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  12. Donnatella

    I love it, it's nice to know that these men who have the world on their shoulders, have time to relax.

    June 24, 2010 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  13. Tod

    We are still at the balancing act of trading WTO support for Security Council support and it is just as delicate as it's ever been. Nevertheless, I am glad to see we are having dialogue rather than a stare down and provocation like a few years ago. Just to think that if McCain were President, we likely would have gone to war with these guys also over Georgia by now.

    June 24, 2010 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  14. Erik

    Hmm, the president obviously hasn't noticed how often Twitter gets knocked offline, especially weekday mornings.

    June 24, 2010 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  15. George of the jungle

    how do you know he refered to hem incorrectly ? maybe he tinks they ae twits.

    June 24, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  16. S Callahan

    I'd keep the red phone...one good solar flare and twit will be a twip....

    June 24, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  17. Uncle Sam

    Twitter is about twitted out. This election cycle will over extend it in both parties and it will be insignificant in politics after that. Kind of like tele-campaigning.

    June 24, 2010 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  18. DENNA

    President Medvedev, I love you. It is so wonderful to see a Russian leader who is warm and friendly. A golden day indeed in the world. I hope that this is the start of a better relationship with Russia. We are two super powers who should not fight, but who should be a beacon to the world. Diplomacy rocks!

    June 24, 2010 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |