“Congratulations on a remarkable run,” starts the letter Barack Obama left for Donald Trump in one of his last acts as president. Trump has made reference to this letter, left for him in his Oval Office desk drawer, calling it “beautiful” during an ABC News interview. But Trump chose not to share its contents with the media. Now the full handwritten note has become available, reports CNN, after the network obtained a copy from "someone Trump showed it to." (You can read it in full here.) The bulk of Obama’s message came in four pieces of advice to his successor:
- Don’t forget the less fortunate: Obama started off his letter by reminding Trump that not everyone is “so lucky” as they are. “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,” he wrote.
- Remember America’s role on the global stage: Obama called America’s leadership in the world “indispensable" and reminded Trump that both through action and example, it’s up to the USA “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.”
- Protect American democracy: Obama reminded Trump that “we are just temporary occupants of this office” and urged him to put politics behind him at the end of the day. “Regardless of the push and pull of daily politics," he wrote, "it's up to us to leave those instruments of our democracy at least as strong as we found them.”
- Spend time with family: According to Obama, the key to work-life-balance for even world leaders centers on making time for what’s important: family and friends. “They'll get you through the inevitable rough patches,” he wrote.
Obama ended the letter by wishing Trump luck and extending his offer to help if needed. "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." Read more on CNN
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