January 23, 2017

"I just went to the Oval Office and found this beautiful letter from President Obama."

"It was really very nice of him to do that, and we will cherish that. We will keep that, and we won’t even tell the press what’s in that letter."

Said Trump to reporters in the East Room of the White House.

The Daily News reports it as "joking."

Is it joking? They didn't get the letter yet did they? It's not as if Trump gives them everything they've been accustomed to feeling entitled to get. He didn't show them his tax returns.

I think Obama probably wrote something lovely, not so much to inspire and bless Trump as to have another turn on the stage after Trump took office. But Trump isn't giving him that. The show's over.

100 comments:

Curious George said...

He probably asked him to cosign a loan.

Jack Wayne said...

Missed a good pun. The O's over.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

So Obama wrote a personal letter to Trump and the media feels that they need to have it released so that they can pore over it and try to use it as a club to beat Trump over the head?

Is is a personal letter, not an official state document, and is none of their business. What next? Will they demand to examine Trump's underwear drawer to see if he folds his underwear or rolls his socks?

Michael K said...

It is a long standing tradition for the outgoing president to leave a letter for his successor in the oval office.

I have already read somewhere that he did so.

Rick said...

The show's over.

The chances they end up with it seem pretty high. There was at least one person quite sympathetic to the press' desire to attack Trump who was in a position to make a copy.

Mark Jones said...

Yes, I'm sure that if Trump doesn't release the letter, Obama will. Perhaps thru some third party, perhaps not. Still, I approve of Trump not releasing the letter. He doesn't owe the opposition press a damn thing.

mccullough said...

Dear Donald,

Whenever you face trouble in this job, please remember to blame Bush.

Yours truly,

Barack

Owen said...

McCullough: LOL. But in the Soviet joke there were two letters...

Sammy Finkelman said...

The text of the Bush letter to Obama was just released he other day. For a while now, maybe since Reagan (?), outgoing presidents have left little letters for their successors.

damikesc said...

The letter isn't usually publicized. The letters from the Presidents Bush were released just last week, I think. This is a tradition. W left one for Obama.

Bob Boyd said...

If Trump released it, the media would say Obama got a longer letter when he came into office and Spicer would say "Nah-ah!"

Chris Breisch said...

Whenever I hear about the letters left to incoming Presidents, I'm reminded of this story from the Soviet Union.

A new General Secretary had just acquired the office after months of an ever worsening situation in the Union causing the ouster of the previous occupant to the office.

When he arrived, he found three letters from his predecessor, with instructions not to open them until a crisis arrived that he could not resolve.

Some months passed, and sure enough, a crisis occurred. The press was mad at him, the citizenry was mad at him, and the Politburo was mad at him.

So, he opened the first letter. It said simply "Blame everything on me".

And the new General Secretary took that advice and blamed everything on his predecessor. This enabled him to buy a few more months time to resolve the situation.

However, a little while later, another crisis occurred. And the vultures were again circling.

This time the General Secretary opened the second letter. The contents of this letter were just as simple as the first, "Blame everything on the Politburo".

The Secretary took that advice, and followed it. The political infighting it caused lasted just long enough to resolve the crisis.

However, not long after that, a third crisis happened. The Secretary was at his wits end on how to deal with it, so with reluctance, he turned to the third letter.

The contents of this letter were just as brief and simple as the first two.

"Write three letters"

mockturtle said...

The show's over.

We can only hope.

AprilApple said...

The media can't see it. hahahahahahahaha

lemondog said...

Obama Delivers Private Letter to Trump as Clinton, Bush Letters Made Public

David said...

Obama has a copy. It will find its way public if he wants it to.

Chuck said...

damikesc said...
The letter isn't usually publicized. The letters from the Presidents Bush were released just last week, I think. This is a tradition. W left one for Obama.


Exactly right. The other thing that is unusual, is an incoming president waving the letter around and talking about how the press is not going to get it.

And naturally, the Trumpkins look for a way to fit the whole story into their pre-existing narrative of media bias and a war on their man.

Trumpkinland is every bit as paranoid and as hyper-defensive as the most devoted Obamabots. You're all flip sides of the same coin. The whole world is out to get your guy. Only your side truly understands him, and how he can save the country from itself.

David in Cal said...

"Prepare three envelopes" http://www.design.caltech.edu/erik/Misc/Prepare_3_Envelopes.html

mockturtle said...

Chuck, you make some good points. It is a natural reaction, I guess, to be defensive about 'our guy' when he is constantly skewered by the MSM. But at the same time, given that he has been in office only a few days, why can't we all just sit back and allow his presidency to take shape? Surely there is real news going on the in the world that the MSM could be spending its time reporting.

YoungHegelian said...

Has the press considered that Obama would prefer the contents remain private for the time being, & Trump is honoring his wishes?

Remember, while the press were lap dogs for Obama, he never liked them all that much, & wasn't shy about expressing those feelings when asked directly,

Ann Althouse said...

Am I wrong that these letters have been revealed in the past?

I see the ABC story with the 2 letters in facsimile that makes it seem as though those are something new, but they are from the National Archive.

Fabi said...

Commie Chuck finds a way to trash Trump's supporters.

Unexpectedly

John said...

Will they demand to examine Trump's underwear drawer to see if he folds his underwear or rolls his socks?

If they demand it of Crooked Hilary they will find slim pickings. She gives her underwear away for the tax deductions. Probably gets more than the $2/pr that she claimed in 94.

Not that there's anything wrong with that! I do not expect her, or President Trump, to pay any more taxes than they owe.

And, to beat Lazlo to the punch: You can pay $20-30 on the internet for used underwear. That's usually from young and hot porn stars though. Still, there might be a fetish market for Crooked Hilary's panties. The press has spent so much time sniffing them, they might like a pair for a souvenir.

John Henry

Kansas City said...

I think Barrack Obama was a poor president, but I was surprised by Ann's hostility as to motive.

I thought President Obama did pretty well in the courtesies related to the transition. And, if he wrote the letter with an eye to how a future reader would view him, I think that is perfectly understandable. Any person would do that.

As to the larger question of the motives of Obama, I think that has always been a mystery. As of now, I think it is the combination of great ambition for wealth and power and standard far left ideology. We are probably fortunate that we got through his presidency as well as we did and that he was bad enough to keep Hillary from being elected president. And this is from a guy who expects Trump overall to be unsuccessful. My view is that Trump already had delivered in stopping dynastic presidencies (for now), keeping Clinton and company out, and ushering in a new wave of judicial and other appointments.

Sebastian said...

Dear Donald,

You are going to get so much backing from me, you'll ask me to back off.

I shouldn't be saying this, but if my buddies give you a hard time, just say, "I won."

By the way, the drone button is the one on the far left.

Enjoy!

O

damikesc said...

Am I wrong that these letters have been revealed in the past?

I see the ABC story with the 2 letters in facsimile that makes it seem as though those are something new, but they are from the National Archive.


They get released, but not quickly. Bush's letter to Obama and, I think, his dad's letter to Clinton (or Clinton's to Bush, not sure which) were released last week. It's just advice on the job, from what I gather.

Matthew Sablan said...

Either or, it is private correspondence. It will get released eventually, either via memoirs or presidential libraries. I don't think it is a big deal, one way or the other.

Puten Curry said...

I'm reminded of this story that happened in the UK after the Tories/LibDems took over from Labour:


Liberal Democrat David Laws, speaking at a press conference at the Treasury told reporters: "When I arrived at my desk on the very first day as Chief Secretary, I found a letter from the previous chief secretary to give me some advice, I assumed, on how I conduct myself over the months ahead.

"Unfortunately, when I opened it, it was a one-sentence letter which simply said 'Dear Chief Secretary, I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left', which was honest but slightly less helpful advice than I had been expecting."

mccullough said...

Dear Lyndon,

You sonofabitch. I knew I should not have gone to Dallas.

Enjoy your sloppy seconds. I rest peacefully knowing you will be the most despised president ever. Give my regards to your lovely wife. She was not the best I ever had, but she was better than your secretary.

Good luck with Viet Nam.

May you rot in hell,

Jack

bgates said...

naturally, the Trumpkins look for a way to fit the whole story into their pre-existing narrative

Nothing is as tiresome as a blowhard who insists on fitting everything into his pre-existing narrative.

khematite said...

Seems like an awful lot of needless concern in just the past week with what have turned out to be fairly long-standing traditions: Melania's gift to Michelle, Schumer's speech at the inauguration, and now Obama's letter to Trump. Why are we suddenly noticing things that no one gave much thought to in the past?

Henry8 said...

I saw this live and didn't get the impression that Trump was joking. I'm sure we'll hear what was in the letter at some time or another, for now it's not the most pressing issue facing America.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Obama probably wrote a letter meant for President Hillary months ago and gave that one to Trump.
I bet he was even so crass he just crossed out "Hillary" at the top and wrote in "Trump" rather than recopy it.

Hagar said...

I just thought this morning of the image of Obama riding out of town, promising to return.
But maybe he will find the town empty, the gold has played out, and the people moved on to the next big thing.

Rick said...

maybe he will find the town empty, the gold has played out, and the people moved on to the next big thing.

No, he's the rallying point until the next Democratic President.

Tank said...

Bob Boyd said...

If Trump released it, the media would say Obama got a longer letter when he came into office and Spicer would say "Nah-ah!"


For the Win !

damikesc said...

There is a chance that since he hasn't been involved in politics, he might not have known about the tradition.

Amadeus 48 said...

Nice, somewhat cynical analysis, Althouse. Trump gets to gaslight the press again--just to put them through their paces--he gets a nice letter from Obama, and Obama has to bask in the reflected goodwill of Trump, without actually getting to take the stage one more time. I'd say Trump 3, Opposition 0.

SayAahh said...

Dear Don,

Please don't have Melania open the Tiffany box until the explosives unit passes on it.

Cheers.

Bo.

rhhardin said...

Rush just called the women of the women's march mindless twats.

Misspeaking truth to power.

damikesc said...

DISGUSTING!

None of us made a joke about how he got Ayers to write it for him?

Slipping, people. We're slipping.

Freder Frederson said...

Is is a personal letter, not an official state document, and is none of their business.

You are assuming facts not in evidence. If it is on POTUS letterhead, then there is a strong argument that it is an official document and eventually belongs in the National Archives (and is subject to a FOIA request).

If it was not on government letterhead, then you are right.

The point is, you don't know and neither do I.

The president can not just arbitrarily decide which official documents will be released.

Hagar said...

No, he's the rallying point until the next Democratic President.

That is probably what Obama (and some others) thinks, but what if another strike has been heard of?

Henry8 said...

"Rush just called the women of the women's march mindless twats."

I'm sure someone will come along shortly and call him a brainless dick.

Paddy O said...

After the niceties and encouragement, the letter has the details about the Ministry of Magic and also our interactions with other worlds. So of course he can't leak it to the press.

Lauderdale Vet said...

So. Opinions on Gorsuch?

damikesc said...

You are assuming facts not in evidence. If it is on POTUS letterhead, then there is a strong argument that it is an official document and eventually belongs in the National Archives (and is subject to a FOIA request).

Oh good lord, who'd demand an FOIA request for the traditional letter between Presidents? The ones released were just "keep your chin up in the bad times" stuff. What do you seriously think will be in a letter written to somebody who, usually, disagrees with you in very fundamental ways?

If it was not on government letterhead, then you are right.

The point is, you don't know and neither do I.

The president can not just arbitrarily decide which official documents will be released.


Prior ones were on letterhead. They were from one President to another. Read what Bush wrote to Obama. Tell me if there's anything in it that REALLY warrants any level of concern. It is basic politeness and tradition.

Drago said...

Freder: "The president can not just arbitrarily decide which official documents will be released."

Yes, an Obama fan actually wrote that.

Without irony.

But of course, Freder is correct. A President can not....unless the servers/hard drives are "accidently destroyed".

Heh.

Hagar said...

Or think of Trump as a High Plains Drifter; there still is not much of a town to come back to.

Fabi said...

"If it is on POTUS letterhead, then there is a strong argument that it is an official document and eventually belongs in the National Archives (and is subject to a FOIA request)."

Unless it's on a private server in the bathroom, right Freder? Lulz

AllenS said...

When I learned about the letter, I immediately thought it was an old Kenyan tradition.

MaxedOutMama said...

Well, it's a tradition for presidents to do that. Glad to hear the tradition was continued.

Kathryn51 said...

Well, what I want to know is: did the Obama sisters write a note to Barron Trump??

When I posted on FB last week re: the Bush sister letters, all my lib friends said "Oh, I'm sure the Obama girls will do the same because they are so lovely, nice, sweet, blah, blah, blah."

Yeah, really? Did Chelsea (another "lovely, nice, sweet young woman") write notes to the Bush girls? Uh. . . . if she did, never heard about it which means, didn't happen.

Yancey Ward said...

Trump is toying with the press. In my opinion, it will take maybe a day or two for some mindless automaton to file a FOIA request for the letter, which is what Trump is trying to induce.

Drago said...

damikesc: "Prior ones were on letterhead. They were from one President to another. Read what Bush wrote to Obama. Tell me if there's anything in it that REALLY warrants any level of concern. It is basic politeness and tradition"

The left (and some "lifelong republicans") are literally, not figuratively, going to take every single action/statement of Trump and his admin to "11".

Every single time. What else are the Stalinists and their republican establishment enablers going to do? What else do they have?

madAsHell said...

The president can not just arbitrarily decide which official documents will be released.

....and he still voted for Hillary!!

Drago said...

Yancey Ward: "Trump is toying with the press. In my opinion, it will take maybe a day or two for some mindless automaton to file a FOIA request for the letter, which is what Trump is trying to induce."

Every time I think there is no way the dems/left/"lifelong republicans" won't be so stupid as to take a chomp at the bait...there they go.

So I put the odds at 50/50 that someone does exactly what you describe.

Drago said...

madAsHell: "


The president can not just arbitrarily decide which official documents will be released.

....and he still voted for Hillary!!"


Proudly and loudly voted for Hillary!!

Fabi said...

Unexpectedly, Drago -- unexpectedly! :-)

Yancey Ward said...

I had just popped over to Powerline and at the top of the page was the following link:

https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/255223/

lemondog said...

I read that Reagan left a note for Bush on stationary with the letterhead “Don’t Let The Turkeys Get You Down.” Could this be what it looked like?

lemondog said...

Link...

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/e0/fc/28/e0fc28850a50b90ad1b912f425ba563e.jpg

Chuck said...

mockturtle said...
Chuck, you make some good points. It is a natural reaction, I guess, to be defensive about 'our guy' when he is constantly skewered by the MSM. But at the same time, given that he has been in office only a few days, why can't we all just sit back and allow his presidency to take shape? Surely there is real news going on the in the world that the MSM could be spending its time reporting.


Nobody in the press made a big deal about it. Trump made a big deal about it. He pulled the envelope out of his coat pocket and wave it around, and talked about what a beautiful letter it was, and how the press couldn't have it.

It was weird. Like the way he was hissing "NAFTA; you remember NAFTA? It was something I made an important part of my campaign..." As if a room full of White House staff and their families wouldn't know what NAFTA was.

Freder Frederson said...

Tell me if there's anything in it that REALLY warrants any level of concern. It is basic politeness and tradition.

I'm sure there is nothing to be concerned about. But assuming it is on letterhead, it is an historical document. It belongs to the people, not Donald Trump.

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Jon Ericson said...

Old topic: What do you see?

Comanche Voter said...

I think Glenn Reynolds over at Instapundit had it right (he was reporting on his interview with the BBC). Trump and his people are gaslighting the press. There are some important and significant policy changes going down under Trump. Some I'd agree with; some I would not. But a press that was up to the task would be reporting on those so their readers would be informed. Instead the press chases these Trump diversions; reminds me of the sort of wool ball on a string, or the laser pointer that my sister uses to amuse her cat. The cat chases the wool ball, and the red light on the pointer. Amusing enough for the cat; but the press should not be so easily diverted. But as Ben Rhodes said, most of the press doesn't know much. Shorter version---they are as dumb as a box of rocks.

MathMom said...

The letter-leaving is a tradition. The gift giving at the door of the WH evidently started with Michelle, but when one was given to her, she acted like she'd been given a hamster to hold. She remains graceless even with eight years to practice.

I keep amusing myself, though, with the thought that the gift contained an iPad Mini with all of Trumps rallies and speeches on it. Sort of like giving the Queen an iPod with Barack's speeches, only now, with VIDEO!

FullMoon said...

damikesc said... [hush]​[hide comment]

DISGUSTING!

None of us made a joke about how he got Ayers to write it for him?

Slipping, people. We're slipping.


Sayahh upthread referenced explosives, does that count?

Matthew Sablan said...

"As if a room full of White House staff and their families wouldn't know what NAFTA was."

-- To be fair, some of our elected officials think Guam might tip over and can't remember what departments they want to remove from the government, so, it isn't impossible they might not know what NAFTA is.

Henry8 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Drago said...

Freder: "I'm sure there is nothing to be concerned about. But assuming it is on letterhead, it is an historical document. It belongs to the people, not Donald Trump."

Tell us more about this brand new, out if the blue concern of the left.

LOL

Fabi said...

"I'm sure there is nothing to be concerned about. But assuming it is on letterhead, it is an historical document. It belongs to the people, not Donald Trump."

A dispatch from the make-it-up-as-we-go file.

Henry8 said...

"It was weird. Like the way he was hissing "NAFTA; you remember NAFTA?"

When he says "China" it always sounds obscene.

wildswan said...

Dear Don,
Halfway through my presidency I realized I was an idiot and damaging America and letting down the blacks. But I couldn't stop though I tried to limit the damage by golfing and partying with rappers. I thought it would be obvious I didn't care about women's rights if people singing about 'ho's and grabbing women in the White House. No, still they adored me. Then I thought Hillary might win and carry on my "legacy." God.

Late, late, Oh how late, I realized, America is truly the last great hope of free men. It was me who leaked to Wikileaks and me who told Comey to re-investigate in October. And now, Donald, save the USA, I hope and pray, it's not too late.

God Bless the USA

Barack Obama

Fred Rawlings said...

I wonder what Scott Adams would think. I believe Obama wanted it as a farewell homage to his spectacular ego. I also believe that whatever Trump crows about, it is muddying the water on other topics.

Chuck said...

Henry8 said...
"It was weird. Like the way he was hissing "NAFTA; you remember NAFTA?"

When he says "China" it always sounds obscene.


Alec Baldwin did a hilarious sendup of that very thing, in one of his first "Trump" appearances.

Henry8 said...

Oh boy, Spicer is rehashing the same stuff from the other day, this is a mistake. And he was doing so good for a while.

FullMoon said...

Spicer killin' 'em at press conference over TOTAL inaug numbers, brings up MLK bust lie, Rep. Lewis lie.

Henry8 said...

Spicer's doing better again, good to see. Back to subjects that mean something to all Americans. Crowd size at the inauguration and the erroneous reporting about the bust of MLK aren't those things.

AReasonableMan said...

Althouse tip toed up to Trump's lies about the tax returns but no one was biting. I will bite. He should release his tax returns.

Todd Roberson said...

He should begin releasing FUTURE tax returns. His tax returns up to this are the tax returns of a private citizens engaged in private enterprise and are no one's business but the IRS.

Drago said...

ARM: "Althouse tip toed up to Trump's lies about the tax returns but no one was biting. I will bite. He should release his tax returns."

He won't.

It will be Trumps reverse "birth certificate" issue, which is ironic, no?

Trump should hire ARM to retain control of the tax records and keep them afloat, at sea, outside US territorial waters until Jan of 2024.

Win win!

Drago said...

Todd Roberson: "He should begin releasing FUTURE tax returns."

He should begin releasing PROJECTED tax returns which factor in extra-terrestrial mining operations and space-based exploration activities.

Chuck said...

Drago said...
ARM: "Althouse tip toed up to Trump's lies about the tax returns but no one was biting. I will bite. He should release his tax returns."

He won't.

It will be Trumps reverse "birth certificate" issue, which is ironic, no?


If, as I personally suspect, Trump is shown at some point to have not under any actual audit at all during the campaign, it would be like the Obama birth certificate IF a real Obama birth certificate had been found and actually showed that he was in fact born in Kenya. A massive lie on the part of the president.



Bad Lieutenant said...

Chuck, I never really want to be helpful to you, but you should tread lightly on this - or Mick will eat your brains.

Chuck said...

The notion that Mick regularly dines on the brains of various creatures would explain a lot!

"Tread lightly" is such a perfect Michael Cohen line.

http://www.businessinsider.com/donald-trump-lawyer-michael-cohen-wife-ivana-2015-7

Todd Roberson said...

According to his tax returns, one of our Senators - Democrat Joe Donnelly - is the "poorest" member of the United States Congress.

I can't decide if that's good or bad ....

David said...

If the letter says, "your new curtains are ugly" I raise my estimation of Obama by 15%.

Matthew Sablan said...

"If, as I personally suspect, Trump is shown at some point to have not under any actual audit"

-- Considering the IRS leaked private data of people who gave to organizations that the left didn't like, if Trump had not been under audit, that would have been made known. Personally suspecting that Trump is not actually under audit is the equivalent of asking questions about Comet Pizza.

Drago said...

Chuck: "If, as I personally suspect, ..." .......zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Matthew Sablan said...

"If the letter says, "your new curtains are ugly" I raise my estimation of Obama by 15%."

-- I saw something about gold curtains, and I thought that was clearly an Onion-type Fake News story playing on the whole dossier thing.

But...

tcrosse said...

Dear Donald,
My uncle in Kenya has a large fortune which he is not allowed to send out of the country without having paid a $10,000 fee to the government. If you will send the $10,000, my uncle will gratefully pay you a share of the millions.
Thanks in advance,
Barry

Yancey Ward said...

Tcrosse wins the thread.

Seeing Red said...

Donald can release in the same time frame W's letter to Ivan's was released.

Seeing Red said...

Obama

Talk about Freudian slip

AllenS said...

Dear Donald,

I have some devastating news to tell you. First, there are no aliens from outter space at Area 51. Secondly, all the UFO sightings are just Air Force research aircraft. I was bummed out when I heard that. Gotta go, tee time.

Barry

AllenS said...

I see that what tcrosse posted at 3:53 was a lot funnier than my crap.

MRS Rana said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txJioUlLqSg

SukieTawdry said...

I don't think the former president (first time I've written that--how exhilarating) is aware yet to what extent the show is truly over.