The White House won’t say how President Obama or his aides reacted to the news that businessman Donald Trump opted against running in the 2012 Republican primary. But it sounds like it was a moment one hopes will appear in one of the many books be written about his presidency.

“I’m trying to remember from yesterday,” Press Secretary Jay Carney said after a pause and some laughter in the White House briefing room Tuesday afternoon. It sounded like he did recall, but was not eager to describe it.

Then, after a pause and more laughter, Carney added, “Surprisingly subdued reaction.”