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White House Suffers E-Mail Outage; Twitter Fills Gap

Feb 3, 2011

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Reported by

Ari Shapiro

Related Topics at NPR.org

President Obama spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast in the morning, then he flew to Pennsylvania to deliver a speech on innovation and small business development.

But the White House was unable to communicate any of that over e-mail. The White House's unclassified e-mail systems were down most of the day.

Many White House officials are on Twitter, so that became a sort of stopgap.

Communications director Dan Pfeiffer tweeted: "White House unclassified e-mail system went down shortly before 8 AM. Verizon is working to solve the problem."

Throughout the day, the press office paged reporters in the White House each time a press release came out on paper.

For reporters outside of the White House, there was silence.

The outage lasted just over seven hours.

Shortly after 3 pm eastern time, reporters received President Obama's remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast, as spoken 6 hours earlier.

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