President Joe Biden kept his own counsel when he received a letter from former President Donald Trump – pocketing the note and refusing to share its contents with advisors, according to Bob Woodward's new book.
Leaving a letter for his successor is one of the White House traditions former President Donald Trump decided to honor – even after skipping Biden's inauguration and avoiding a traditional lunch with his successor.
Former President Donald Trump would be a shoo-in over President Joe Biden or Vice President Kamala Harris if the next election were held now, with 1 in 5 Democrats saying they would vote for Trump today, according to a Rasmussen Reports survey. https://t.co/QEZSaRmCsp— Newsmax (@newsmax) September 23, 2021
Biden found the letter in a drawer of the Resolute Desk inside the Oval Office, just as predecessors had before him.
'He put it in his pocket and did not share it with his advisers,' Bob Woodward and Robert Costa wrote in their new book, Peril.
'His attention turned to the virus,' according to the authors, in a reference to Biden's battle against the coronavirus.
Biden may have anticipated how Trump's words might have leaked had he spoken to advisors about it. Many of his aides appear to have cooperated in Woodward and Costa's book, which goes on at length about numerous meetings attended by just a handful of top officials, sometime quoting about the thoughts and feelings of big players.
Biden spoke publicly about the letter after being sworn in, without revealing what Trump wrote him. 'The President wrote a very generous letter,' he said. 'Because it was private, I will not talk about it until I talk to him, but it was generous.'
White House press secretary Jen Psaki later described the letter as 'generous.'
Trump backpedaled hard from praising the “highly respected" Cyber Ninjas after they confirmed that Joe Biden won in the election. He deleted his statement. pic.twitter.com/avHTALJG54— Hoodlum 🇺🇸 (@NotHoodlum) September 24, 2021
The tradition dates back to at least 1989, when Ronald Reagan left a cartoon for his successor George H.W. Bush with the missive 'Don't let the turkeys get you down.'
It is not known if anything inside the letter could convey legitimacy upon Biden, after Trump has spent months claiming widespread election 'fraud.'
On Wednesday, Trump wrote in a statement from his 'Save America' PAC called the election the '2020 Presidential Election Scam or, as it is viewed by many, the “Crime of the Century.”
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.