January 26th, 2009
04:57 PM ET
9 years ago

White House press office hit by e-mail outage

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/01/22/obama.blackberry/art.obamabb.gi.jpg caption="Staff for the new, wired president found themselves without e-mail Monday."]

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. Tracey

    So the mail server "coincidentally" goes down right AFTER the new admin uploads to the new system? Hmmmm....I will reserve comment on this one.

    January 26, 2009 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  2. Texas Teacher

    Can't microsoft outlook do anything anymore? Sheesh... this is pitiful. Perhaps it is Cheney and Bush fixing the computers... they surely had plenty of time!

    January 26, 2009 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  3. ObamaForTechnology

    When will they start posting photos and news releases to the official Whitehouse.gov Briefing Room website? As of yet there are no Pool Reports either?

    January 26, 2009 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    It is an Exchange Server not a Outlook server 🙂

    Gov't workers unable to fix a mail server issue - must be all the breaks and time off they get! LOL

    January 26, 2009 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  5. NorCalGal

    How is this Obama's fault? My god some of you people are just being so stupid!

    Maybe the Whitehouse should up grade their computer systems. I think that would be a good use of tax payer money.

    January 26, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  6. Gordon Shumway

    At least Bush and Cheney waited a few months..........................

    January 26, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  7. Steven Maurer

    I wonder just how much more hidden Republican incompetence there is we don't know about.

    At this point, Obama just being able to move into the Whitehouse without the roof leaking and whole electrical system blowing out will seem like a grand victory.

    What a mess.

    January 26, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  8. 2yuong2voteOR

    i dont understand how anyone can honestly beleive this is President Obama's fault

    this is a tech failure, it happens everywhere!!!
    the USA and the USSR almost nuked eachother to hell because of problems like this, but those problems have become increasingly less serious dur to advances in technology

    it'll be a while untill internet problems can be completly solved.

    im very glad though that the administration has other unoficial emails so there's an alternative

    January 26, 2009 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  9. aron ozimek would leder

    tell buraco barmer to talk to nasa to help me fite our finachall digatall war there over 150 years a head in tecknollogy and as a demend mack shore he macks his bancks strong asap aron ozimek leder for ceven rudd

    January 26, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  10. proudliberal-independent

    bush left a 'worm'.

    January 26, 2009 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  11. Ken in NC

    From the High Tech of the Obama campaign into the High Tech of the White House under fromer President Bush is like walking off a cliff into darkness. Lots of upgrades will have to be done and quickly.

    January 26, 2009 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  12. legal in nc

    This is no more Obama's fault than it is Bush's fault. Neither of them work in the IT department of the white house.

    January 26, 2009 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  13. Barbara

    We are so fortunate to have a very smart staff in the White House. High Tech is a must. Everything will be fixed. I guarantee you this.

    January 26, 2009 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  14. Franky

    Uh-Oh, they're onto us, gotta hide, LOL!! I'm playing, i'm playing.

    January 26, 2009 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  15. Matt in Austin

    This is what they deserve for running that piece of crap called Exchange (not "Outlook server").

    Instead of a proprietary and highly unreliable Microsoft product, they should be running a standards-compliant SMTP server. Many companies sell such a thing, or they could get an open source mail server FOR FREE!

    Hey, new administration... stop wasting tax dollars and STOP PAYING FOR UNRELIABLE MICROSOFT PRODUCTS.

    January 26, 2009 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  16. Lou from CT

    Good heavens – it's a technical issue folks – not espionage.

    Sometimes these issues can take time to solve...

    And Rick – give Mr. Gibbs a break. Are you telling me that previous press secretaries were calm, cool, and collected on their first days – I THINK NOT.

    January 26, 2009 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  17. Franky

    "Senator accuses Pres. Obama of 'environmental thuggery"

    LOL!!! Watch out, he's a thug! LOL!! He's too thuggish to allow this...

    You politicians are a bunch of morons and by the way, tell him he better make sure his Sooners better win a title, LOL!!

    January 26, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  18. Jen

    The Obama "pablum" is wearing off.

    January 26, 2009 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  19. Francis Conners

    I think the APR, taxes and insurance should be lowered for all home owners.

    January 26, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  20. dirk diggler

    Hopefully the Obama administration is actually technically sophisticated, and realizes full well what a weak link Microsoft anything is, and will set up a Linux and Mac shop.

    January 26, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  21. Jake

    Outsource the exchange server to Rackspace and this will solve everything.

    January 26, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  22. RMGofCO

    Get a grip Rick. All is getting adjusted...the long nightmare is over. Welcome to the dream. 🙂

    January 26, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  23. Rob

    What, No backup servers ? Please, who is running the White House IT department. Might be a goos way to loose some critical early emails. You know the ones they wrote before they realized that they were all being logged.

    January 26, 2009 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
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