The letter that Barack Obama left Donald Trump upon his transition out of the White House has finally been made public.
In a letter left on Inauguration Day for President Trump that was both congratulatory and cautionary, Barack Obama urged the incoming president to guard democratic institutions and traditions, and “sustain the international order.”
“This is a unique office, without a clear blueprint for success, so I don’t know that any advice from me will be particularly helpful,” Mr. Obama wrote in the letter, which CNN published on Sunday. “Still, let me offer a few reflections from the past 8 years.”
CNN reported the letter was written in longhand on White House stationery and left in the top drawer of the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office. The letter highlighted the concerns of a departing president who acknowledged the enormous responsibility of the job domestically and on the world stage.
Mr. Obama wrote Mr. Trump, a billionaire who had family wealth and made fortunes in real estate, that “we’ve both been blessed, in different ways, with great good fortune,” adding, “Not everyone is so lucky.”
It is important to “build more ladders of success for every child and family that’s willing to work hard,” he wrote. He emphasized that “our wealth and safety” depend on maintaining “the international order that’s expanded steadily since the end of the Cold War.”
He also made a case for preserving “instruments of democracy” regardless of what the “push and pull of daily politics” may bring.
Mr. Trump has shown the letter to White House visitors, and one of them shared a copy with CNN, the network reported. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday.
It is a tradition for presidents who are leaving office to write letters to their successors offering advice and well wishes.
*sigh* We miss the Obama administration SO much.