by Katherine Doyle, White House Correspondent | January 20, 2021
President Trump did leave a note for Joe Biden, the White House confirms, continuing a tradition between outgoing and incoming presidents.
A White House aide would not say whether Trump drafted the note on his final night in office, or whether he wrote the note before departing the White House for the final time in his presidency on Wednesday.
Trump did not mention President-elect Biden in his farewell remarks at Joint Base Andrews on Wednesday, where the president was met with family members and aides for a final send-off before leaving Washington. Trump will be joined by a few White House aides as he embarks on his post-presidency life at Mar-a-Lago, his Palm Beach resort.
“I hope they don’t raise your taxes. But if they do, I told you so,” he quipped about the incoming administration.
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“We’ve left it all on the field as some athletes say,” Trump added. “In a month, when we’re sitting in Florida, we’re not going to be looking at each other and saying, ‘If only we worked harder.'”
“Remember us,” he said. “We will be back in some form.”
Trump used much of his four-year term to demolish or ignore many Washington traditions. He opted, however, to follow the practice of one chief executive leaving some words of wisdom about the job to his successor. Then-President Obama did just that four years ago in his final moments in the Oval Office as president.
Congratulations on a remarkable run. Millions have placed their hopes in you, and all of us, regardless of party, should hope for expanded prosperity and security during your tenure. This is a unique office, without a clear blueprint for success,” Obama wrote. “Michelle and I wish you and Melania the very best as you embark on this great adventure, and know that we stand ready to help in any ways which we can.”
But aides said throughout Trump’s term that he did not ask Obama nor any other living former commander in chief for advice, and did not attempt to establish any kind of relationship with any of those four men.
Notably absent from the event was Vice President Mike Pence, who will attend Biden’s inauguration before taking a small government plane to his hometown of Columbus, Indiana. Pence left a note for Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on his desk in West Wing, according to Bloomberg.
While Trump left aboard Air Force One, Pence will not be flying on Air Force Two, instead taking a flight dubbed a “special air mission” by officials.