Revealed: Barack Obama's private letter to Donald Trump on Inauguration Day

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The contents of Barack Obama’s private letter to Donald Trump on Inauguration Day have been revealed after he reportedly showed it to Oval Office visitors.

Mr Obama congratulated his successor on “a remarkable run” and told him that the two of them had been “blessed in different ways, with great good fortune”, according to CNN.

In the 275-word letter, obtained by the network, Mr Obama also urged Mr Trump to “sustain the international order that has expanded steadily since the end of the Cold War.”

Mr Obama is quoted as saying: “Millions have placed their hopes in you, and all of us, regardless of party, should hope for expanded prosperity and security during your tenure.

Donald Trump and Barack Obama on Inauguration Day (Getty Images)

“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. Still, let me offer a few reflections from the past 8 years.”

The letter then offers four “reflections” touching on American leadership in the world, democracy and spending time with loved ones.

Mr Trump is urged to “build ladders of success for every child and family” and protect the “instruments of democracy”.

The full contents of the letter

Dear Mr President


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.


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. Still, let me offer a few reflections from the past 8 years.


First, we’ve both been blessed, in different ways, with great good fortune. Not everyone is so lucky. It’s up to us to do everything we can (to) build more ladders of success for every child and family that’s willing to work hard.


Second, American leadership in this world really is indispensable. It’s up to us, through action and example, to sustain the international order that’s expanded steadily since the end of the Cold War, and upon which our own wealth and safety depend.


Third, 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. 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.


And finally, take time, in the rush of events and responsibilities, for friends and family. They’ll get you through the inevitable rough patches.


Michelle and I wish you and Melania the very best as you embark on this great adventure, and know that we stand ready to help in any ways which we can.


Good luck and Godspeed,


BO

It ends: “And finally, take time, in the rush of events and responsibilities, for friends and family. They’ll get you through the inevitable rough patches.

“Michelle and I wish you and Melania the very best as you embark on this great adventure, and know that we stand ready to help in any ways which we can.”

Former Democratic president Mr Obama wrote the letter in longhand and slipped it into the drawer of the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office for Mr Trump to find when he took office on January 20.

When he wrote the letter, he did not disclose the contents to even his closest aides.

But according to CNN, Mr Trump has shown the letter to visitors in the Oval Office or his private White House residence. The network said it had obtained a copy from someone Mr Trump showed it to.

He previously said he was delighted with the handwritten note and said he would “cherish it”.

Traditionally, outgoing US presidents leave personal letters for their successors in the Oval Office.


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