(CNN) - President Obama thinks Michael Jackson was a "spectacular performer" but also a man with aspects of his life that were "sad and tragic," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Friday.
"I talked to him about it this morning," Gibbs said in the White House's first reaction to Jackson's death. "Look, he said to me that obviously Michael Jackson was a spectacular performer, a music icon. I think everybody remembers hearing his songs, watching the moon walk on television during Motown's 25th anniversary."
"But the president also said, look, he had aspects of his life were sad and tragic," Gibbs added. "His condolences went out to the Jackson family and to fans who mourn his loss."
Gibbs was quickly pressed over why the White House did not issue a formal statement on Jackson's death.
"Because I just said it," he said.