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Twitter Skipper: P.J. Crowley on Ahmadinejad

Twitter Skipper: P.J. Crowley on Ahmadinejad

The State Department didn’t hold a press briefing Monday, as many top officials including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are in New York for the kickoff of the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference.

So the only official readout from State’s press shop today comes from official statements mailed from the press office and the brand new Twitter account of Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs P.J. Crowley. (@pjcrowley)

Crowley is only the latest administration official to take to Twitter, and we hope his feed won’t become a replacement for direct interactions with the public and the press. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs (@presssec) has come under criticism for seemingly bypassing the White House press corps by breaking news on his Twitter account, such as the announcement that President Obama was delaying his trip to Indonesia.

So far today, Crowley has four tweets, including reiterating the administration’s position on Iran’s nuclear program. Here are his first day’s tweets:

2:53 PM: Hello world. Excited to be here on Twitter. Looking forward to our global conversation.

3:08 PM: At #UN, President Ahmadinejad claims that #Iran accepted TRR offer. But Iran has yet to respond to #IAEA. The ball remains in Iran’s court.

4:03 PM: At #UN, rather than answer questions about his nuclear program, President Ahmadinejad tried to hide the ball. We aren’t playing his game.

4:04 PM: At the #UN, #SecClinton pledged the U.S. will do its part to strengthen the #NPT. Didn’t see anyone walk out in protest.

One of the State Department’s e-mail fact sheets on the NPT review conference contains Clinton’s announcement Monday that she is starting a campaign that seeks to raise $100 million over the next five years "to broaden access to peaceful uses of nuclear energy," with $50 million to be raised from outside the U.S.

"The funds are to significantly expand support for projects sponsored by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), addressing energy and important humanitarian purposes, such as cancer treatment and fighting infectious diseases, food and water security, and the development of infrastructure for the safe, secure use of civil nuclear power," State’s fact sheet reads, "These efforts will be aimed to assist developing countries."