- Biden said it was “shockingly kind” for Trump to leave a letter for him in the Oval Office.
- That’s according to a forthcoming book about the Biden presidency written by Chris Whipple.
- Biden said Trump’s letter was “very kind and generous,” according to a quote obtained by Politico.
According to presidential tradition, outgoing US presidents leave a letter to their successor at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office before they leave the White House.
It’s a tradition former President Donald Trump followed as he left the Oval Office — and a move President Joe Biden described as “shockingly gracious,” according to an excerpt from Chris Whipple’s forthcoming book, “The Fight of His Life : Inside the Joe Biden’s White House’. .” Politico obtained an advance copy of the book.
“It was very gracious and generous … Shockingly gracious,” Biden said of the move, according to Politico’s excerpt from Whipple’s book.
In a statement to Politico about the book, White House spokeswoman Robin Patterson said, “We respect that there will be no shortage of books written about the administration that contain a wide variety of allegations.”
“We do not intend to engage in confirmation or denial of the details of these claims. The author has not given us an opportunity to verify the materials attributed here,” Patterson added.
A Trump spokesman and representatives from the White House press office did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment sent outside of normal hours.
Biden first revealed in January 2021 that Trump had left him a letter. This came after Trump snubbed Biden’s inauguration and refused to concede the election, while continuing to repeat baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud.
“The president wrote a very generous letter,” Biden told reporters on Jan. 20, 2021. “Because it was private, I won’t talk about it until I talk to him, but it was generous.”
—ABC News (@ABC) January 20, 2021
Trump also spoke briefly about the letter on a March 2021 episode of “The Truth with Lisa Boothe” podcast.
“I basically wished him luck and you know, it was a few pages and it was from the heart. Because I want to see him do well,” Trump said.
In a Feb. 17 episode of the podcast, “Literally! with Rob Lowe,” Jen Psaki, then the White House press secretary, described the moment Biden found Trump’s letter.
“Before I did my first briefing, I was in the Oval Office, talking with him about the briefing and anything he wanted me to convey or what I expected,” Psaki said. “And I said, ‘You know, I think they’re going to ask you about the letter the former president left you.’ And he said, ‘Oh, did he leave me a letter?'”
Psaki said Biden read the letter in front of her, but he was a “classy guy” and kept the content to himself.
“It was a long time,” Psaki said of the letter. “The script from where I could see it was pretty great.”