Biden said it was 'shockingly gracious' of Trump to follow tradition and write him a letter before leaving the Oval Office, new book claims

Biden said it was 'shockingly gracious' of Trump to follow tradition and write him a letter before leaving the Oval Office, new book claims
  • Biden said it was "shockingly gracious" of Trump to leave him a letter in the Oval Office.

  • That's according to a forthcoming book on the Biden presidency, written by Chris Whipple.

  • Biden said Trump's letter was "very gracious and generous," per an extract obtained by Politico.

Per presidential tradition, outgoing US presidents leave a letter for their successor on the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office before leaving 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 of Chris Whipple's forthcoming book, "The Fight of His Life: Inside Joe Biden's White House." Politico obtained an advance copy of the book.

"That was very gracious and generous … Shockingly gracious," Biden said of the move, per Politico's excerpt of Whipple's book.

In a statement to Politico on the book, White House spokesperson Robyn Patterson said: "We respect that there will be no shortage of books written about the administration containing a wide variety of claims."

"We don't plan to engage in confirmations or denials when it comes to the specifics of those claims. The author did not give us a chance to verify the materials that are attributed here," Patterson added.

A spokesman for Trump and representatives at the White House press office did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment sent outside regular business hours.

Biden first revealed in January 2021 that Trump had left him a letter. This was after Trump snubbed Biden's inauguration and refused to concede the election while continuing to repeat baseless claims of widespread voter fraud.

"The president wrote a very generous letter," Biden told reporters on January 20, 2021. "Because it was private, I will not talk about it until I talk to him, but it was generous."

Trump also spoke briefly about the letter on a March 2021 episode of the podcast "The Truth with Lisa Boothe."

"Basically I wished 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," Trump said.

On a February 17 episode of the podcast, "Literally! with Robe Lowe," Jen Psaki, the then-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 you're going to be asked about the letter that 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 was a "classy guy" and kept the contents to himself.

"It was long," Psaki said of the letter. "The script from where I could see was very lovely."

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