President Joe Biden said Wednesday that former President Donald Trump left him a “very generous letter” before departing the White House.
Speaking from the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office after signing 17 executive orders, Biden 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 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.
Trump did not show the note he left Biden to many of his aides, according to one person with knowledge about the letter.
It is considered 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.
After being sworn-in just four years ago on this day, Trump after reading the letter from former President Obama tried to call his predecessor. However, it was reported that Obama couldn’t take the call as he was still flying to Palm Springs on the presidential aircraft.
“It was long. It was complex. It was thoughtful,” Trump said of the letter the week after taking office in an interview with ABC News. “And it took time to do it, and I appreciated it.”
In his farewell rally Wednesday morning at Joint Base Andrews, Trump did not name Biden by name or his new title, but emphasized that he wished the “new administration great luck and great success.”
Trump skipped out attending Biden’s inauguration earlier on Wednesday and had landed in Palm Beach Florida before his 2020 foe was sworn into office.