At a news conference Friday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked how the president reacted to Jackson's passing.
"Look, he said to me that obviously Michael Jackson was a spectacular performer, a music icon," Gibbs told reporters. "I think everybody remembers hearing his songs, watching him moonwalk on television during Motown's 25th anniversary."
"But the president also said, you know, look, he had aspects of his life [that] were sad and tragic," Gibbs continued. He added that the president's "condolences went out to the Jackson family and to fans that mourn his loss."
Jackson suffered cardiac arrest at his rented L.A. home Thursday and was pronounced dead at 2:26 p.m. PST.
An autopsy is underway, though results aren't likely to be final until toxicology tests could be completed (which could take weeks).
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