White House press secretary Judd Deere confirmed to news outlets that President Donald Trump left a note for President-elect Joe Biden, following a presidential tradition.
Deere did not elaborate on the contents of the note, citing privacy concerns.
Reports said that Vice President Mike Pence also left a note for Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
Former President Barack Obama left a note to Trump, reading in part: “This is a unique office, without a clear blueprint for success, so I don’t know that any advice from me will be particularly helpful … American leadership in this world really is indispensable. It’s up to us, through action and example, to sustain the international order that’s expanded steadily since the end of the Cold War, and upon which our own wealth and safety depend.”
And before that, former President George W. Bush left a letter to his successor: “Very few have had the honor of knowing the responsibility you now feel. Very few know the excitement of the moment and the challenges you will face … 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.”
Trump, before he left for Florida, put out a 20-minute-long, pre-recorded video touting his accomplishments. And on Wednesday morning, he said, “It’s been a great honor. The honor of a lifetime. The greatest people in the world, the greatest home in the world. We’ve had an amazing four years. We’ve accomplished a lot. We love the American people, and, again, it’s been something very special.”
During a stop at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, he told supporters: “We love you. We will be back in some form.”
“I will always fight for you. I will always be watching. I will be listening,” he added.
“I will tell you that the future of this country has never been better. I wish the new administration great luck and great success. I think they’ll have great success. They have the foundation to do something really spectacular,” Trump said before he departed for Florida.
The president added that “you’re going to see incredible numbers coming in”—referring to the U.S. economy—if President-elect Biden leaves his policies “untouched.”
Earlier in the month, Trump announced on Twitter would skip Inauguration Day before the social media website suspended his account.