Did President Donald Trump leave this note for President-Select Joe Biden? It’s been circulated on numerous social media platforms and websites. A pithy and peppery note like this is surely something Trump would pen, and indeed seems a fitting gesture alongside his refusal to attend Biden’s inauguration.
Biden will not show the letter Trump left for him to the press. If his administration did so, could the proof be deemed authentic? After all, at least half of the US public doesn’t believe he truly won the presidency. And if his administration releases a concocted version Trump has the original to call them on it.
Several “fact checker” websites (including the infamous Snopes.com) have sought to dismiss the above document as a hoax. For example, The Quint observes,
While Donald Trump has definitely left a letter for his successor Biden, the text of the said letter is not available in the public domain. According to a report by CNN, Joe Biden told reporters that Trump has left him a ‘very generous letter’ but he added that he won’t reveal the content of the letter because ‘it was private’.
Next, we compared the format of the viral letter with another letter written by Donald Trump and found that the format of date differs in the two letters. While earlier letters drafted by trump followed MM-DD-YYYY date format, the viral letter has used DD-MM-YYYY format.
Even though anyone with basic knowledge of the White House’s stationary and letter writing format and some simple Photoshop skills could have produced a more substantive forgery, if that’s what it in fact is.
This seems like a small matter, and yet the controversy surrounding a simple memo really does epitomize the greatest problem facing the American public today: who and what to believe in an era where once trustworthy figures–legislators, the judiciary, and “journalists”–are more often than not willing to bear false witness for personal and temporal gain.