Fact check: ‘Joe, you know I won’ letter from Trump is not real

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

A picture of a letter purportedly left by former President Donald Trump for new President Joe Biden has been shared thousands of times online. The letter in the picture reads: “Joe, you know I won.” While Trump did leave a letter for Biden, there are signs this apparent letter is a hoax.

Thousands of Facebook users shared the image (here , here and here ) and some left comments suggesting they believed it was real, such as: “So this is the letter” and “Love President Trump. Always says the truth!!”

Trump did participate in the Presidential tradition of leaving a letter for the successor, but the contents have not been disclosed as of this article’s publication. President Biden told reporters at the White House on Jan. 20, the day of his inauguration, that: “The president wrote a very generous letter,” but “because it was private, I won’t talk about it until I talk to him.” (here)

There are also signs that the letter was created using image editing software. The presidential seal on the faked letter does not match previous examples sent from Trump’s White House. Letters from Trump to North Korea’s Kim Jong Un in 2018 (here) and Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan in 2019 (here) had a gold crest at the top of the letter, whereas this fake has a coloured seal that matches a Wikipedia search result for ‘Seal of the President of the United States’ (here).

This hoax letter also has an address at the bottom, unlike previous letters from the former president, as noted by Fact checkers Lead Stories (here).


False. This letter has numerous discrepancies of style compared with previous letters sent from Trump’s White House. The former president did leave a letter for Biden, but it has not been released at the time of publication.

Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts .