Trump leaves Biden a note before departing White House

Former President TrumpDonald TrumpSunday shows preview: House GOP removes Cheney from leadership position; CDC issues new guidance for fully vaccinated Americans Navajo Nation president on Arizona's new voting restrictions: An 'assault' on our rights The Memo: Lawmakers on edge after Greene's spat with Ocasio-Cortez MORE left a note for President Joe BidenJoe BidenWarren calls for US to support ceasefire between Israel and Hamas UN secretary general 'deeply disturbed' by Israeli strike on high rise that housed media outlets Nation's largest nurses union condemns new CDC guidance on masks MORE before departing the White House for a final time on Wednesday, a White House official confirmed.

There are no details yet on what the note says. The move keeps with a presidential tradition, despite Trump’s decision to buck other precedents with his exit on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters after being sworn in as the next president Wednesday afternoon, Biden called the letter "very generous" but said it was private and declined to disclose its details until he had a chance to speak with Trump.


Trump left Washington, D.C., Wednesday morning without plans to attend Biden’s inauguration later that day. 

Instead, he thanked his family and aides in a farewell speech from Joint Base Andrews and remarked a final time about his administration’s agenda before leaving office. Trump briefly wished the incoming administration luck, but did not mention Biden by name. 

“I will be watching, I will be listening, and I will tell you that the future of this country has never been better,” Trump told a group of supporters, aides and family members. “I wish the new administration great luck and great success. I think they will have great success. They have the foundation to do something very spectacular.” 

Trump left Washington for his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Fla. He took Air Force One there in his final hours as president.

Trump never called Biden or met with him following his election victory. Following the election, Trump contested the results and claimed that they were tainted by widespread voter fraud.


Trump earlier this month finally acknowledged that a new administration would take over on Jan. 20 after a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol in an effort to stop the counting of Electoral College votes confirming Biden’s win.

Former first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpHere's why Joe Biden polls well, but Kamala Harris does not Jill Biden a key figure in push to pitch White House plans Petition calls for Jill Biden to undo Trump-era changes to White House Rose Garden MORE also bucked tradition by not hosting incoming first lady Jill BidenJill BidenWashington showing signs of normalcy after year of restrictions Here's why Joe Biden polls well, but Kamala Harris does not Jill Biden visits Smithsonian as DC museums reopen MORE for a “tea and tour” at the White House to mark the transition of power.

While the Trumps did not attend the inauguration of Biden and Vice President Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHere's why Joe Biden polls well, but Kamala Harris does not Immigration experts say GOP senators questioned DHS secretary with misleading chart Carper urges Biden to nominate ambassadors amid influx at border MORE, former Vice President Pence and second lady Karen PenceKaren Sue PenceHere's why Joe Biden polls well, but Kamala Harris does not Pences announce birth of first grandchild Can a common bond of service unite our nation? MORE were on hand for the ceremony, as will former Presidents Obama, George W. Bush and Clinton.

Pence also left a note for Harris at the White House, according to a source familiar with the decision, but the details of the note's contents are not known. Pence also spoke to Harris by phone last week to offer assistance ahead of the inauguration.

Updated at 5:47 p.m.