As he prepares for what increasingly appears likely to be an electoral rematch in 2024, former President Donald Trump has revealed that he left President Joe Biden what he called a “nice note” upon his departure from the White House in early 2021, as the Washington Examiner reports.
Trump's comments came during an interview with NBC's Meet the Press that hit the airwaves on Sunday.
After disclosing that he had made the arguably magnanimous gesture toward Biden despite the rancorous circumstances of the presidential transition, Trump stopped short of detailing what the communication actually said.
Suggesting that it was Biden's choice as to whether he would publicize the note's contents, Trump did state that he “took a lot of time in thinking about it.”
That said, Trump also remarked that Biden once stated his belief that it was up to his predecessor to reveal what was in the note but maintained, “I actually think it's up to him to do.”
Giving the smallest of hints as to the tone of the letter, Trump said, “I'd love him to do a great job, even if it was very bad politically.”
Indeed, as the Examiner notes, a 2022 report in the New York Times indicated that according to Biden, Trump had been “more gracious in the letter than he had anticipated.”
Though Trump's decision to write to Biden may have been somewhat surprising, given the contentious political environment in which the Oval Office changed hands, the practice of the departing president leaving a letter for his successor is one that has been observed by at least three prior commanders in chief, as CNBC noted back in 2017.
That is when outgoing President Barack Obama similarly left a handwritten letter for Trump to read upon his ascension to the top job, one which included reflections on his two terms in office and some friendly advice to boot.
Citing a report from CNN, the outlet noted that Obama offered his congratulations to Trump for prevailing in the election and stated that “millions” had “placed their hopes in him.”
Obama characterized the job of president as one that lacked “a clear blueprint for success,” but continued to offer what he thought might be useful things to keep in mind as the subsequent four years unfolded.
“We are just temporary occupants of this office,” Obama wrote. “Regardless of the push and pull of daily politics, it's up to us to leave those instruments of our democracy at least as strong as we found them.”
Striking a more personal tone, Obama advised Trump to “[t]ake time in the rush of events and responsibilities, for friends and family. They'll get you through the inevitable rough patches.”
Days after assuming the office of the presidency, Trump described Obama's communication – which was significantly longer than those left by prior occupants of the role – as a “beautiful letter,” but whether Americans will ever get a glimpse at what Trump said to Biden when he took his leave of D.C., only time will tell.
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