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Obama offered accolades, advice in farewell letter to Trump

It is customary for presidents to leave notes for their successors

Catherine Lucey | AFP | PTI  |  Washington 

President Barack Obama shakes hands with President-designate Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.
President Barack Obama shakes hands with President-designate Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.

Before he left office in January, President offered his successor accolades and advice in a private letter that underscored some of his concerns as he passed the baton.

In the letter, published Sunday by CNN, praised President Donald Trump, saying: “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.”

went on to urge Trump to "build more ladders of success for every child and family," to "sustain the order” and to protect “democratic institutions and traditions”.

wrote: “We are just temporary occupants of this office. 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.”

It is customary for presidents to leave notes for their successors. But typically these missives do not come to light so quickly. The handoff letters from President George W. Bush in 2009 and President in 2001 were revealed earlier this year. CNN reports it received the letter from "someone Trump showed it to."

After taking office, Trump praised the note from Obama, calling it a “beautiful letter” in an interview with ABC. Trump added that he called to thank him for the note.

The declined to comment, as did a spokesperson for

In the letter, offered some advice: urging Trump to provide opportunities for those “willing to work hard,” arguing that American "leadership in this world really is indispensable" and asking him to leave "instruments of our at least as strong as we found them."

also wrote that Trump should "take time, in the rush of events and responsibilities, for friends and family. They'll get you through the inevitable rough patches." He concluded by wishing the "very best as you embark on this great adventure."

Former top aide David Axelrod seized on the letter on Twitter, writing: "What wise and eloquent advice from one president to another. Sad how thoroughly @POTUS has disregarded it!"

Former Sen. Rick Santorum criticised the letter's opening words, calling it "politically correct" on CNN, though he went on to say the rest was "very gracious and well written."

First Published: Tue, September 05 2017. 01:52 IST
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