Biden says Trump left him a 'very generous' letter before leaving Oval Office

Biden said that he will not be immediately revealing the contents of the letter out of respect for Trump.

Julia Yeo | January 21, 2021, 05:06 PM

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Former United States President Donald Trump left a "generous" personal note before leaving the White House, said U.S. President Joe Biden on his first day in the Oval Office on Jan. 21 (Singapore time).

Trump wrote 'very generous letter': Biden

Speaking to reporters, Biden said that he will not be immediately revealing the contents of the letter out of respect for Trump, reported CNN.

"The President wrote a very generous letter," Biden said. "Because it was private, I will not talk about it until I talk to him, but um, it was generous."

It is an ongoing modern tradition for outgoing presidents in the U.S. to write their successors a letter and leave it for them on the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office of the White House.

According to a source, Trump did not show the note he left for the newly-inaugurated president to many of his aides.

New press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters the letter was "both generous and gracious", but it does not indicate a pending call with Trump, ABC News reported.

Rare presidential tradition for Trump to uphold

The letter was one presidential tradition Trump upheld out of many that he broke, including missing Biden's inauguration to fly back to his resort home in Mar-a-Lago, Florida.

However, it is consistent with his past enthusiasm he had for the letter he received from former U.S. President Barack Obama in 2017, CNN said.

Trump was apparently so taken with Obama's personal note that Trump tried to call him as soon as he read it on Inauguration Day four years ago.

While the two former presidents never connected directly, Trump's presidential staffers said that he just wanted to thank Obama for the note.

In an interview with ABC News, Trump said the letter from Obama was "beautiful" and "so thoughtful", and added that he appreciated the letter a lot.

Separately, former Vice President Mike Pence also left a letter for Vice President Kamala Harris.

Pence also attended Biden's inauguration, and was seen sharing a laugh with Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff after the ceremony.

The tradition for outgoing presidents to leave notes for their successors started with late former president Ronald Reagan, who left a humorous note for his vice president and successor George H.W. Bush, in 1989.

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Top image via White House/YouTube, Getty Images