Biden says Trump left him a ‘very generous letter’ before departing White House
President Joe Biden said Wednesday that former President Donald Trump left him a “very generous letter” before departing the White House.
Biden, speaking from the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office after signing Day One executive orders, said he would not immediately reveal the contents of the letter out of respect for Trump.
“The President wrote a very generous letter,” Biden told reporters. “Because it was private, I will not talk about it until I talk to him, but it was generous.”
A senior Trump aide described the letter to CNN as a “personal note” that prays for the success of the country and the new administration to care for the country. The aide said writing the letter to Biden was one of the many items on Trump’s list in the Oval Office Tuesday night.
It is a modern tradition for outgoing presidents to write their successors a letter and leave it for them on the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office.
Trump did not show the note he left Biden to many of his aides, according to one person.
In a briefing Wednesday night, White House press secretary Jen Psaki declined to offer more details on the letter Trump left for Biden, telling reporters that, based on comments from Biden, “this is a letter that was private, as he said to you all, it was both generous and gracious, and it was just a reflection of him not planning to release the letter unilaterally.”
While it may seem surprising Trump upheld this tradition when he ignored every other element of a peaceful handoff, it is in keeping with his past enthusiasm at the letter he received from President Barack Obama.