President Donald Trump declined to call his successor before departing from the White House on Wednesday, or give him the traditional tour of the West Wing — but he did leave a note for President-elect Joe Biden, according to reports.
It wasn’t immediately clear what the president wrote to Mr Biden, who was preparing for his swearing in ceremony on the footsteps of the US Capitol as news broke about the letter.
Mr Trump has dodged all sorts of Inauguration Day traditions, from meeting with the next commander-in-chief to attending the ceremonies in Washington.
Instead, the president delivered a subdued and final farewell speech before boarding a plane with the first family and heading to Florida.
He left out his usual false claims of rampant voter fraud, instead offering the following message to Mr Biden and the incoming administration: “I wish the new administration great luck and great success. I think they’ll have great success."
The letter from Mr Trump to Mr Biden was left in the Oval Office for the incoming president by an aide, according to Bloomberg News.
Just before he left the White House for the final time, the president faced growing calls for his removal due to his conduct during the deadly pro-Trump riots at the Capitol, which left five dead, including a United States Capitol Police officer.
President-elect celebrates his hometown: ‘You were with me my whole career, through the good times and the bad’
Mr Trump, who spent months promoting false claims of a rigged election, posted a video during the violent riots continuing to spread falsities about the vote.
He was eventually blocked by virtually all major social media platforms from posting to his accounts, with leading tech CEOs citing threats of violence ahead of the transition of power for their suspensions of the president.
Mr Biden delivered his own speech in Delaware on Tuesday before departing for Washington, crying at times while sharing his love for his hometown.
The president-elect then boarded a private plane to the nation’s capital, where he presided over a national memorial alongside Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to pay respects for the nearly 400,000 Americans who have died as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
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