The staged White House hug was a drastic departure from Obama’s previously-stated stance on photo ops which he laid out at a July 9 press conference held to discuss the child immigration crisis.

“This isn’t theater. This is a problem,” Obama said. “I’m not interested in photo ops; I’m interested in solving a problem.”

Departing from an unofficial policy that has been in place since the summer, President Barack Obama instructed Nina Pham – newly free of Ebola – to pose with him for a photo op in the Oval Office on Friday.

“Obama hugged Pham after the president said something to the effect of “Let’s give a hug for the cameras” – according to two photographers allowed into the Oval,” reported CQ Roll Call’s Steven Dennis, who was covering pool duty for the day, Mediaite reported.

“Photos show Pham with a radiant smile. Photographers say they didn’t see a kiss but said hug was a full embrace.”

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