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Obama's Patience Wears Thin as BP Struggles to Contain Oil Spill

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President Obama discusses the role that American small businesses play in the economy during an event in the Rose Garden at the White House, Tuesday, May 25, 2010, in Washington. (AP)

As the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico continues to gush after BP's multiple attempts to contain it have failed, President Obama is losing patience.

At a recent White House meeting on the oil spill, the president reportedly snapped, "just plug the damn hole."

"Obviously he's frustrated as the rest of the people are, particularly along the Coast," White House energy adviser Carol Browner told Fox News. "We want this thing to shut down."

Obama was in no mood Tuesday to discuss the spill after praising the Small Business Administration for the work it has done to help those affected by the disaster.

At the Rose Garden event celebrating small businesses, Obama refused to answer a question shouted out by a reporter on whether he has confidence in BP to plug the hole.

With anger building, Obama will travel to the region Friday for the second time. Unlike the first time, he'll see the sludgy catastrophe from the shore.

Meanwhile, Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen retired Tuesday. He will, however, remain national incident commander of the spill.

"This job will be needed for a long long time because of the natural resources damage assessments and the clean up that will be doing on," he said.

The new Coast Guard commandant, Adm. Robert Papp, compared it to a sprint relay race.

"I had to be up to speed to be ready to take that baton," Papp said. "I think we're there. I'm just a little worried there might be an oil on the baton."

On Capitol Hill, Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson called the federal response so far weak and said the military needed to take control.

Top White House officials said they're in charge.

"All decisions about the clean up, all decisions about shutting down the well are being run through the federal government," Browner said. "The federal government is in charge."

And yet, BP is still defying a federal order to use less toxic oil dispersants, despite mounting warnings of secondary environmental damage.

"If we can minimize the toxicity, if we can minimize the amount being used, obviously that's what we're going to do," Browner said.

BP has agreed under pressure to show a live feed of a procedure called a  "top kill" designed to choke off the oil spill. BP started showing live feed of the leak itself after pressure from the Obama administration. But lawmakers had said they had learned that the "top kill" procedure would not be shown.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.