The note was left on the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, outgoing
Its contents are unknown. Past presidents have revealed what their predecessors wrote to them but it’s unclear if and when Biden will do so.
President Trump did leave a note for incoming President Joe Biden on the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office
President Trump is skipping Joe Biden’s inauguration – Biden and Jill Biden at church Wednesday morning at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle
The outgoing president has eschewed the traditional trappings that come with a peaceful transfer of power.
Trump did not host Biden at the White House for coffee after the election and did not greet him at residence’s front door ahead of the inauguration ceremony.
Additionally, Trump did not mention his successor by name in any of his farewell address. He never formally conceded the election and merely acknowledged a ‘new administration’ is coming into the White House.
The outgoing president fought long and hard for a second term – falsely claiming he won the election, pressuring state officials to find more votes for himself, and filing many legal cases that he ultimately lost.
He held on to his vote count as he departed Washington D.C. on Wednesday. He bragged about his vote tally – even as Biden received more votes that he did.
Trump said he got ’75 million votes. In the history of sitting presidents, it is an all-time record by a lot by many millions, really just an honor.’
He left Washington D.C. shortly before 9 a.m. He will not attend Biden’s swearing-in ceremony at the Capitol.
But Trump did leave a note – a tradition that goes back to President Ronald Reagan, who left one for his successor George H.W. Bush.
Reagan left a short, pithy note on stationary that read ‘Don’t let the turkeys get you down’ – with an illustration of an elephant surrounded by turkeys.
‘George, I treasure the memories we share and I wish you all the very best. You’ll be in my prayers,’ he wrote.
George H.W. Bush’s note to the man who defeated him, Bill Clinton, has been held up as example of graciousness and bipartisan unity.
‘There will be very tough times, made even more difficult by criticism you may not think is fair. I’m not a very good one to give advice; but just don’t let the critics discourage you or push you off course,’ he wrote.
‘You will be our President when you read this note. I wish you well. I wish your family well. Your success now is our country’s success. I am rooting hard for you,’ he added.
Ronald Reagan’s note to George H.W. Bush started the presidential tradition of the outgoing president leaving a note for his successor
George H.W. Bush’s note to Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton’s note to George W. Bush
George W. Bush’s note to Barack Obama
Clinton left just a gracious note for his successor, Bush’s son George W. Bush: ‘You lead a proud, decent, good people. And from this day you are President of all of us. I salute you and wish you success and much happiness.’
W. Bush, in return, wrote to Barack Obama: ‘There will be trying moments. The critics will rage. Your “friends” will disappoint you. But, you will have an Almighty God to comfort you, a family who loves you, and a country that is pulling for you, including me. No matter what comes, you will be inspired by the character and compassion of the people you now lead.
And Obama wrote to Donald Trump: ‘Congratulations on a remarkable run. Millions have placed their hopes in you, and all of us, regardless of party, should hope for expanded prosperity and security during your tenure.’
He added about the importance of civic institutions: ‘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.’