Trump leaves ‘traditional’ note to Biden before inauguration

January 20, 2021
President Donald Trump and Melania Trump depart the White House before Joe Biden's inauguration.
President Donald Trump and Melania Trump depart the White House before Joe Biden's inauguration.

WASHINGTON — American President Donald Trump left a note for incoming President Joe Biden before departing the White House, Fox News reported. A source told Fox News the contents of this note are just between Trump and Biden. It’s traditional for outgoing presidents to leave a note for their successor.

After four years of shattering precedent inside the White House, President Trump took part in one final presidential tradition on his way out of office Wednesday: leaving a letter for his successor inside the Oval Office.

Trump spokesperson Judd Deere confirmed Wednesday that the president had written a letter to President-elect Joe Biden and left it for him in the Oval Office's Resolute Desk. The Trump White House did not divulge the contents of what Trump left for Biden to read.

While Trump broke a century and a half tradition of every outgoing president attending the inauguration of their successor, he kept with the now 32-year tradition of the departing commander-in-chief writing a note to the incoming president.

As he left the White House in January 1989 after two terms in office, President Ronald Reagan started the tradition — leaving a note for his successor, George H.W. Bush, who also happened to be his vice president.

The message was written on stationary that included the aphorism “Don’t let the turkeys get you down” with a depiction of an elephant surrounded by said birds.

Four years later, despite losing to then-Gov. Bill Clinton of Arkansas in a bitterly contested election, outgoing President Bush left Clinton a note in the Oval Office. The tradition has carried on to this day.

Arguably the Bush letter to Clinton was the most famous. In it Bush struck a conciliatory note, writing that he considers Clinton to be "our President," underlining the first word for emphasis. "Your success is now our country's success. I am rooting hard for you," Bush wrote.

Upon his arrival to the White House, Trump received a letter from President Barack Obama wishing him and his administration good fortune and urging him to endeavor to leave the “instruments of our democracy at least as strong as we found them.”

Separately, a White House official told that outgoing Vice President Mike Pence left his successor, incoming Vice President Kamala Harris, a handwritten note. And Pence, who was head of the Trump administration’s Coronavirus Task Force, left Biden and Harris a report from the task force. — Agencies

January 20, 2021
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