Donald Trump refused to concede the election to Joe Biden after losing by over 7 million votes—twice the amount he lost to Hillary Clinton by in 2016—and losing the electoral college by 74 votes. Trump was unsurprisingly absent at Biden's inauguration.
Instead, Trump went to a private club in Florida following a farewell ceremony at Joint Base Andrews. But there was one presidential tradition the former President engaged in before exiting the Oval Office for good.
He left a personal note for the incoming commander-in-chief.
Outgoing Presidents usually leave notes for incoming Presidents on or in the desk inside the Oval Office to congratulate them and give encouraging words or advice in their new role.
The contents of these notes remain confidential before they are eventually released to the National Archives. White House spokesman Judd Deere said Trump left the private message for Biden on Wednesday.
"It's a letter between 45 and 46."
While we have yet to learn details about Trump's personal message to his successor, President Biden did later confirm receipt of the letter and commented:
"The President wrote a very generous letter. Because it was private, I won't talk about it until I talk to him. But it was generous."
As the public awaits the revelation of Trump's parting words, Twitter had their assumptions about what 45 scribbled for Biden to read.
The results are pure comedy.
‘Dear Joe, I wrote you, but you still ain't callin I left my cell, my pager and my home phone at the bottom I sent… https://t.co/IqGDOaA0io— Aubrey O'Day (@Aubrey O'Day) 1611155545.0
"Sorry about all the KFC wrappers" https://t.co/83iGQv4Xo2— Amarnath Amarasingam (@Amarnath Amarasingam) 1611157266.0
"To all the suckers and losers, have a good life!" (probably) https://t.co/a7LoCGkXXU— Jennifer Mercieca (@Jennifer Mercieca) 1611155748.0
“The pee tape was fake news...until last night” https://t.co/3SWIkoljun— Andrew Rose Gregory (@Andrew Rose Gregory) 1611155071.0
"There's a stash of Big Macs in the top drawer. PS There's ketchup for your steaks in the hidden compartment of th… https://t.co/4ebRudQeVW— Jameson Fleming (@Jameson Fleming) 1611153144.0
“Dear Joe, You can’t fire me; I quit.” Love, Donald”— Maury Brown (@Maury Brown) 1611153322.0
There was also no shortage of memes, starting with this one referencing the movie, Back To The Future.
Trump’s letter to Biden, probably: https://t.co/TwdN1UMXKb— S.E. Cupp (@S.E. Cupp) 1611153048.0
@secupp I like this one. https://t.co/Gwg8TKEDr5— Scorched America (Paul) (@Scorched America (Paul)) 1611153094.0
@secupp @ditzkoff https://t.co/SyZkk5jJIR— Mike McKinnon (@Mike McKinnon) 1611154237.0
"Dear Joe, the nuclear codes don't work (that's what they told me). And we used up all the bleach. Sorry." https://t.co/ModJtH4U9q— Patrick Cox (@Patrick Cox) 1611155720.0
Trumps departure note to Biden: https://t.co/GJe9RE78YP— Robert Schaller (@Robert Schaller) 1611006922.0
Live footage of Trump leaving a note for Biden in the Oval Office https://t.co/1Ajt4SzNeL— Allie 🏳️🌈 💛💛 Fearless (Taylor’s Version) (@Allie 🏳️🌈 💛💛 Fearless (Taylor’s Version)) 1611151814.0
CNN shows a glimpse of the note Trump left behind for President Elect Biden. https://t.co/YmBsOCmi5K— Julius Kim (@Julius Kim) 1611152131.0
https://t.co/giCULEYNMN https://t.co/9NOouP4G95— Kno (@Kno) 1611158231.0
https://t.co/YpFvZZmEZq https://t.co/dhZFHL46jR— Jeremy Woodcock (@Jeremy Woodcock) 1611153261.0
Dear Joe, What’s your Twitter password?? https://t.co/u0TXjUtJ26— Princess Potato (@Princess Potato) 1611162883.0
Leaks of President Trump's note to Joe Biden. "Dear Joe...." https://t.co/6yUtg0pPFb— Brock Lobster (@Brock Lobster) 1611159388.0
Trump’s note to President Biden just leaked. https://t.co/gzxGnNg34K— The Lincoln Project (@The Lincoln Project) 1611178791.0
trump’s successor note https://t.co/lnWEbD8Dt4— lucy (@lucy) 1610991780.0
I just found Donald Trump's final note to Joe Biden.... https://t.co/sSbZISvmBy— CircleToonsHD (@CircleToonsHD) 1611152799.0
Breaking: Trumps note to President-elect Joe Biden released. https://t.co/3TNwvObBwD— Pork-Chop Express🇺🇲 (@Pork-Chop Express🇺🇲) 1611149505.0
For his departing note, President George W. Bush warned incoming President Barack Obama there would be "trying moments" during his presidency but also comforted him with the following words.
"You will have an Almighty God to comfort you, a family who loves you, and a country that is pulling for you, including me. "
In 2017, Obama followed the tradition and told Trump that Presidents are "just temporary" occupants of the West Wing.
"That makes us guardians of those democratic institutions and traditions—like rule of law, separation of powers, equal protection and civil liberties—that our forebears fought and bled for."
"Regardless of the push and pull of daily politics, it's up to us to leave those instruments of our democracy at least as strong as we found them."
The known note-giving tradition began with former President Ronald Reagan for his Vice President George H.W. Bush.
Reagan wrote, "Don't let the turkeys get you down," on stationery accompanied with a depiction of an elephant surrounded by said birds.
It's possible notes were left by prior administrations, but Reagan's was the first released to the National Archives.