By Grant Ferowich
A producer at CNN obtained the letter outgoing President Barack Obama left for President Donald Trump on January 20, 2017. It was posted September 3 by CNN’s Kevin Liptak, a day after the Justice Department unveiled that it has no records relating to Trump’s accusation over Twitter than Obama had surveilled Trump Tower before the election.
Addressed to “MR. PRESIDENT,” Obama wrote:
“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,
The relationship between the presidents has been strained. Trump accused his predecessor of surveilling Trump Tower in New York prior to the election in March before calling the 44th president a “bad (or sick) guy!”
Obama’s spokesman has consistently denied the allegations while Trump has been criticized for making the assertion without evidence.
On Septmber 2, the Justice Department disclosed that the government never spied on Trump.
“The Department of Justice — including NSD — has no records responsive to Plaintiff’s request inasmuch as it seeks records of alleged wiretapping of then-Candidate Trump in Trump Tower by President Obama prior to the election, as referenced in the March 4, 2017, tweet,” G. Bradley Weinsheimer, National Security Division at the Department of Justice, confirmed in a court filing.
FBI Record/Information Dissemination cheif David M. Hardy similarly promulgated the bureau has “no records” of the alleged surveillance.
“FBI personnel confirmed this by consulting with personnel knowledgeable about Director Comey’s statements and the surveillance activities of the FBI and confirmed that no such records exist,” Hardy said.
In April, American Oversight sued the Justice Department. “It’s ludicrous for the Justice Department to claim it can’t confirm or deny the existence of records given that the president has declared they exist and the FBI director has denied it. Well, which is it? The American people have a right to the truth,” executive director Austin Evers said at the time.
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