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Why Robert Gibbs Tweets

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From the Wednesday, Feb. 17 Robert Gibbs briefing. Gibbs just started tweeting and he is asked why......

Q Did you start tweeting because you felt that you needed some further response to all of the social media out there, that your message wasn't getting across?

MR. GIBBS: I had all this free time on my hands. (Laughter.)

Q Oh, no, come on, give me a real reason.

MR. GIBBS: No, I said this earlier -- the truth is it was fascinating to watch. It was fascinating to watch you all in real time --

Q -- your voice wasn't being heard?

MR. GIBBS: No, I didn't. I felt like -- did I feel like it was a good avenue for our voice to be heard in? Sure. I thought it was -- all of you are on and I'm reading now all of what you're writing; I'm reading what you're reading; you're reading what I'm reading.

Q It's going to take up most of your day.

MR. GIBBS: I have noticed that it takes up -- it can be addictive. Trying to keep up, like I said yesterday, with everyone's Olympic emails is a task that simply prepares me for college and professional football season.

I will say this, one of the -- I obviously spent time with the lawyers yesterday based on questions we got about the Presidential Record Act of 1978. And I know Mark wrote specifically on this. What I write and what I tweet is archived as a part of this Presidential Records Act of 1978 because it is work product created as part of my job at the White House. People that follow me, people that read that, people that retweet that, none of that goes into or is archived as a result of the Presidential Records Act.

The only thing that would be archived other than what I produce is if you respond directly to me, and only me. It's analogous to sending an email to the White House, which is already archived. So if anybody believed that -- mentioning me, mentioning the White House, mentioning the President in any of the normal tweets that they do is of course not subject to the Presidential Records Act.

Q What if you send something and someone retweets it and comments, like, "I agree," or "I disagree"? That doesn't go there?

MR. GIBBS: If it only goes to me --

Q -- direct back to you.

MR. GIBBS: If it only goes to me then it would be archived because it would be the equivalent of an email. But let's say both of Mike's followers -- (laughter) -- if you retweeted something I said and sent them to both of his, that would -- neither of those two people would fall into the archives.

I say this because Mike poked me a little bit yesterday for not having enough followers and --

Q That's kind of a violation of the ethics -- (laughter) -- say things like that.

MR. GIBBS: Bill, I have to say this, Wendell had by far the best line, as we all know, yesterday. So that's -- yes.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on February 17, 2010 3:32 PM.

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