President Biden told reporters Wednesday that former President Trump wrote him a “very generous” letter, which the former president left before departing the White House Wednesday morning.
“The president wrote a very generous letter. I’m not going to talk about it because it was private, so I will not talk about it until I talk to him, but it was generous,” Biden said, answering a question about the letter from a reporter. It was the only question Biden took from the press.
Biden spoke as he was signing a slew of executive orders in his new office.
Trump spokesperson Judd Deere confirmed to Fox News that former President Trump had left a letter to his successor in the Resolute Desk of the Oval Office, as is tradition.
Separately, a White House official told Fox Business that outgoing Vice President Mike Pence left his successor, incoming Vice President Kamala Harris, a handwritten note. And Pence, who was head of the Trump administration’s coronavirus Task Force, left Biden and Harris a report from the task force.
While Trump broke a century and a half tradition in not attending the inauguration of his successor, he kept with the now 32-year tradition of the departing commander in chief writing a note to the incoming president.
Biden had signed three executive orders before the press was shooed out of the room, but he was expected to sign 17 orders on his first day in office. The first one was, as anticipated, his mask mandate for federal property and interstate travel.
The second Biden described as “support for underserved communities” and “equity in how we treat people in health care, other things.”
That order, Fox News reported earlier, served to “define equity as the consistent and systemic fair, just, and impartial treatment of all individuals” including those who “belong to underserved communities such as Black, Latino, Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and other persons of color; LGBTQ persons; people with disabilities religious minorities; persons who live in rural areas; and persons otherwise affected by persistent poverty or inequality.”
The third EO reentered the U.S. into the Paris Climate Accords after the Trump administration officially left the agreement last year. The Paris Agreement was a global pact created during the Obama administration to combat climate change.
Biden’s other executive orders, signed off-camera, dealt with reversing Trump’s immigration policies, including undocumented residents in the census count, reengaging in the World Health Organization, reinstituting environmental regulations Trump rolled back, and revoking the Keystone pipeline permit, among other priorities.