Former President Donald Trump’s letter to President Joe Biden was described by the current president as “more gracious” than he “had anticipated.”
According to a new report by the Washington Examiner, the letter was the topic of a lengthy New York Times report from Saturday where the focus was pointed toward the Trump administration’s handling of presidential records during his transition.
Biden found the letter in an Oval Office drawer, according to a report from a staff member who was present at the time, after being sworn in that morning, it was his first time in the office.
The letter, according to the aide, was written on two substantial pages and was clearly written in Trump’s distinctive handwriting. The newly elected president said that his predecessor had been “more gracious in the letter than he had anticipated.”
Since Biden took office, it has been known that Trump had sent him a letter, but its contents have remained a secret.
Since Ronald Reagan, the letter has been a custom between the departing and incoming presidents, which would make the existence of this note unremarkable if Trump had conceded the 2020 election.
“The president wrote a very generous letter,” Biden told reporters after being sworn in. “Because it was private, I will not talk about it until I talk to him, but, uh, it was generous.”
At the time, a Trump White House spokesman confirmed the note but opted not to provide further details. The administration intended to keep the letter private, according to the then-White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who only used the word “gracious” to describe it.
When Biden discovered the note in the Resolute Desk, Psaki said in an interview in February of this year, she was in the Oval Office.
She claimed that the 46th president read the letter to himself at the time and didn’t go into further detail with advisers about what it said in the podcast Literally! with Rob Lowe.
“It was long. The script from where I could see was very lovely,” Psaki said of the letter. “I don’t know what was in the letter, but yeah, that was one of my early memories.”
Trump said of the letter, “Basically, I wish him luck and, you know, it was a couple of pages long, and it was from the heart, because I want to see him do well. Look, he’s there. It was a rigged election, an election that you know I would never concede, and by the way, Hillary Clinton said he should never concede. Hillary Clinton, the things she said were so horrible.”