02/22/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Obama Pays Press Corps Surprise Visit

ABC News reports that President Obama dropped in on the White House Press Corps Thursday evening:

"I just want to thank everybody for not just completely ripping up Gibbs," the President said in reference to White House press secretary Robert Gibbs' first press briefing. "We were all watching on TV with anticipation of, you know, some flop sweat, but he handled it and I'm very proud of him."

Politico's Johnathan Martin reports that the President "flashe[d] irritation" when asked about Deputy Defense Secretary nominee William Lynn, saying the visit was just to say hi.

"Ahh, see," he said, "I came down here to visit. See this is what happens. I can't end up visiting with you guys and shaking hands if I'm going to get grilled every time I come down here."

Pressed further by the Politico reporter about his Pentagon nominee, William J. Lynn III, Obama turned more serious, putting his hand on the reporter's shoulder and staring him in the eye.

"Alright, come on" he said, with obvious irritation in his voice. "We will be having a press conference at which time you can feel free to [ask] questions. Right now, I just wanted to say hello and introduce myself to you guys - that's all I was trying to do."

Of course, "the Politico reporter" in question was Johnathan Martin.

Video of Obama's entrance: