President Donald Trump left a note for President-elect Joe Biden on the Resolute Desk before departing the White House for the last time as president Wednesday, his press office confirmed.
It is tradition for outgoing presidents to leave notes for their successors, but it was unclear whether Trump would continue the tradition. Even as he departed the White House and Washington for the last time, he had not conceded the election to Biden. The contents of the note remain private.
“The President left a note for President-elect Biden,” Judd Deere, Trump’s deputy press secretary, confirmed to reporters. (RELATED: Mike Pence Will Skip Trump’s Military Sendoff In Favor Of Biden Inauguration)
Scoop: Trump wrote @JoeBiden a note, sources tell me.
Trump never came to the Oval Office this morning, but the letter was left for the incoming president in the Oval via an aide.
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) January 20, 2021
Trump and his family took off on Air Force 1 from Andrews Air Force Base at roughly 9 a.m., with the takeoff appearing timed with the final notes of Frank Sinatra’s song, “My Way.”
Just had to clip this. Air Force One takes off, perfectly timed to the end of “My Way,” carrying President-for-three-more-hours Trump to Florida — and then a transition to President-elect Biden and company at Cathedral of St. Matthew pic.twitter.com/yPorUSma09
— Emily (Larsen) Brooks (@emilyelarsen) January 20, 2021
Trump took a number of remarkable actions in the final hours of his presidency, including issuing 143 commutations and pardons. He also rescinded his central “drain the swamp” executive order he originally made in January 2017.
The order prevented federal officials from taking lobbying positions for five years after leaving government. With it rescinded, Trump’s federal officials will be able to take lobbying positions as soon as the Biden presidency begins.