By Anders Hagstrom
Former President Donald Trump had to return boxes full of White House records that he had “improperly” taken before leaving office, including a collection of “love letters” he exchanged with North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-Un, The Washington Post reported Monday.
Officials from the National Archives had to travel to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida to retrieve the documents in January, according to WaPo. Trump advisers have said there was no ill intent in the former president keeping the documents, and none has been alleged. The documents reportedly include correspondence with Kim as well as a note former President Barack Obama left for Trump in the White House.
Trump tweeted a picture of one such note from Kim in July of 2018, shortly after his summit with the North Korean leader that same year. The note praised the summit as the “start of a meaningful journey” and “improvement of relations,” but did not make any assurances regarding denuclearization, which was Trump’s main goal. (RELATED: Reporters Beg To See Letter From Kim Jong-Un — POTUS Responds In The Most Trumpian Way Ever)
The full text of Obama’s letter for Trump has been known publicly since 2017. Outgoing presidents traditionally leave letters for their successors, and Obama congratulated Trump on his “remarkable” campaign run.
“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,” the letter read.
There are no reports of Trump keeping letters from Chinese leader Xi Jinping, however. Trump spurned the relationship with the Chinese dictator early on in his presidency, refusing to take Xi’s congratulatory calls after taking office and sending only a belated letter thanking him.
Trump claimed to have a friendly relationship with Xi throughout his presidency until the coronavirus pandemic spread out of China.
“He is a killer,” Trump told Fox News of Xi in December. “But I had a great relationship with him.”