Donald Trump said he left a ‘couple page’ letter for President Joe Biden in the Oval Office on Inauguration Day that he wrote from ‘the heart’ as he bashed his successor’s policies on the border.
‘Basically I wish him luck,’ he said in an interview with Lisa Boothe for her podcast.
It’s a tradition for an outgoing president to leave a letter for his successor but there were questions as to whether Trump would do so given the contentious election between him and Biden.
But there was a letter waiting for Biden on the Resolute Desk when he entered the Oval Office on January 20th.
‘The president wrote a very generous letter,’ Biden said at the time. ‘Because it was private, I won’t talk about it until I talk to him. But it was generous.’
Trump said it was a ‘couple of pages long and it was from the heart because I want to see him do well.’
Donald Trump said he left a ‘couple page’ letter for President Joe Biden in the Oval Office on Inauguration Day that he wrote from ‘the heart’
Joe Biden said Trump wrote him a ‘generous’ letter that was waiting for him in the Oval Office on Inauguration Day
He declined to say specifically what he wrote. Biden has said he would not reveal the letter’s content until he talked with Trump but it’s unclear when is the last time the two men spoke. It’s believed to have been the last presidential debate in October 2020.
‘I don’t want to say,’ Trump said when Boothe asked him what he wrote. ‘That’s, you know, perhaps up to him and I guess he said he wouldn’t do it without my approval.’
The letter will eventually become public – all notes outgoing presidents leave for their successors become archived under The Presidential Records Act and go to the National Archives and Records Administration.
In the nearly 60 minute podcast interview, Trump reiterated many of his old complains: his false claim he won the 2020 election, that he was a victim of a ‘witch hunt’ from special counsel Robert Mueller, and complaining about Republicans – including his own Vice President Mike Pence – who did not support his effort to illegally overturn the election result.
Trump also claimed he never conceded to Biden.
‘Look he’s there. It was a rigged election election, you know, I would never concede,’ the former president said.
Even as Trump said he wished Biden well, he slammed his successor for his policies on immigration and not finishing the border wall.
Traditionally former presidents don’t criticism the sitting commander in chief. Barack Obama and George W. Bush largely declined to comment on Trump during his time in office.
Trump said his advice to Biden on the border was to ‘finish the wall.’ And he claimed his long-promised border wall ‘is just about finished.’
‘You could finish it in a month,’ he said.
On the 1,954 mile U.S.-Mexico border, the Trump administration built 452 miles of wall, according to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) information.
But only 80 miles of new wall had been built. The vast majority of what the Trump administration built replaced already existing barriers built in previous administrations.
Trump also repeated his charge ‘dangerous criminals’ are coming through the border.
‘You have some really bad ones coming, really dangerous criminals coming up, and we’re allowing them to come right into our country. It’s insane. And it’s nothing compared to what it’s going to be over the coming months,’ he said.
Trump’s criticism comes as the Biden administration struggles to deal with the situation at the border.
The number of unaccompanied migrant children in US custody surpassed 15,000 as of Saturday. Nearly 1,000 children have reportedly been held by agents for more than 10 days.
New photos obtained by Axios show the children living in crowded conditions, many of them sleeping on the floor.
Biden has faced criticism from Republicans for reversing some of Trump’s hardline policies, which they argue has led to increased numbers of migrants arriving at the border.
Biden said during his campaign that he would implement ‘more humane’ border policies, which some have taken as a telegraph that it will be easier to cross.
Donald Trump advised Joe Biden to finish his border wall to help solve crisis there – seen above is a section of the wall at Tijuana, Mexico
When asked what more could be done to convince migrant families to stop coming across the border, Biden said his administration is ‘making sure we re-establish what existed before – which is they can stay in place and make their case from their home countries’
Biden said during his campaign that he would implement ‘more humane’ border policies. Some images from migrant camps in Mexico show ‘Biden’ flags (pictured) waving outside tents, illustrating the hopes they have for the new administration
Biden’s administration is wrestling with a growing humanitarian crisis at the border, where the spike in the number of migrants fleeing violence, natural disasters and economic hardship in Central America is testing the Democratic president’s commitment to a more humane immigration policy.
The US government has also ramped up ‘more aggressive’ messaging – in English and Spanish – to persuade migrants to not to come to the United States.
Also on Sunday, Biden’s Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas sent a clear message to migrants, saying: ‘The border is closed.’
‘Our message has been straightforward and simple, and it’s true – The border is closed. We are expelling families. We are expelling single adults,’ Mayorkas told NBC’s Meet the Press.
‘I think we are executing on our plans and, quite frankly, when we are finished doing so, the American public will look back on this and say we secured our border and we upheld our values and our principles as a nation,’ he added.