Biden Had a Four-Word Reaction After He Found Trump's Giant Video Golf Setup in the White House: Book

·3-min read

When President Joe Biden moved into the White House in January, a new book reports, he found his new home somewhat cold — with unusual remnants of Donald Trump's presidency.

Peril, by the Washington Post's Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, contains headline-making reporting on the fraught final days of Trump's administration. It also describes the mood of his successor upon settling into the official residence of U.S. presidents.

"Trump's existence permeated the White House," the Peril authors write, according to an ABC News report.

According to Peril, Biden reacted to — among other Trump-specific amenities — a giant video screen where his predecessor used to practice his golf game, projecting virtual versions of the world's most famous courses onto the wall.

For more on President Biden's reaction to Donald Trump's video golf setup and other top stories, listen below to our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day.

" 'What a f------ a------,' Biden once said as he surveyed the former president's toys," according to a quote from the book cited in the report. (The White House did not respond to PEOPLE's request for comment on Peril, which was published Tuesday.)

Joe Biden, Donald Trump
Joe Biden, Donald Trump

Alex Wong/Getty; SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Joe Biden (left) and Donald Trump

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Joe Biden
Joe Biden

SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty President Joe Biden

Biden reportedly referred to the White House as "the tomb," Woodward and Costa write, adding that safety precautions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 meant that it was not possible to hold social events.

Like most grandparents, they wrote, Biden preferred "relaxing with the grandkids back in Delaware."

Speaking with PEOPLE in January, days after moving to the White House, the president and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden said they were still settling in.

"It's surreal … but it's comfortable," the president said then. "We were here for eight years, just not in this part of the residence. Spent a lot of time in the Cabinet Room and the Oval with the president. So upstairs [in the private family quarters] is new."

His wife added, "The residence staff has been so great, trying to make it feel like home for us. We have family pictures all around, our books, some furniture we brought from home."

Peril offers new details of the months after the transition.

As Biden got to work — responding to the coronavirus pandemic, deliberating plans to withdraw from Afghanistan and collaborating with a new Congress on ways to enact his agenda — the president and his advisers were also reluctant to say the "T-word" and call the former president by his name, Peril's authors write.

white house
white house

The White House

Talking to lawmakers, citizens and journalists is part of the job, but Biden's aides keep up "the wall" as needed, according to the book, referring to efforts to avoid allowing the president to get caught up in events or long interviews, given his well-known (and sometimes controversial) penchant to go off script.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has confirmed that White House aides do sometimes attempt to limit the president's interactions with the press, but acknowledged that Biden is apt to ignore their efforts.

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Biden's willingness to answer questions from reporters at public appearances is "not something we recommend," Psaki said in May during a podcast interview with CNN's David Axelrod.

"A lot of times we say 'Don't take questions,' " she added, but "he's going to do what he wants to do, because he's the president of the United States."

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