The worst thing you can do with Trump is to ignore him. The way he's going to get his narcissism fed after he leaves the White House is by trying to bug and troll Joe Biden. — Lanny Davis, longtime Democratic strategist
The worst thing you can do with Trump is to ignore him. The way he's going to get his narcissism fed after he leaves the White House is by trying to bug and troll Joe Biden. — Lanny Davis, longtime Democratic strategist
Here's the Democrats' plan for handling Donald Trump as Joe Biden's biggest critic and Twitter troll during the next 4 years
  • Donald Trump is shaping up to be Joe Biden's biggest critic and internet troll starting on January 20.
  • Ex-presidents often lay low for a while, focusing on things like pet projects, painting portraits and getting reacquainted with their families.
  • But the outgoing Trump — known for personally attacking his critics on Twitter — isn't expected to be quiet once he's out of office and as he flirts with a 2024 campaign.
  • Democrats are gaming out a battle plan that includes ignoring Trump as much as possible, with operatives outside the White House at the DNC and elsewhere planning to give the new president air cover by swinging back on social media and cable news.
  • "The worst thing you can do with Trump is to ignore him," said longtime Democratic strategist Lanny Davis.
"Crazy Joe Biden," "Sleepy Joe Biden," and a "very LOW ENERGY INDIVIDUAL."

Those are just a few of the names President Donald Trump has called President-elect Joe Biden over the last couple of years. It's only going to get nastier.

Democrats around Biden are bracing for Trump's constant barrage of criticism and name-calling to only grow when he becomes an aggrieved ex-president with 88.5 million Twitter followers, a loyal base of supporters, and a fondness for using shock value to keep his name in the headlines.

... Biden and the White House will do their best to ignore him, according to Democratic insiders and messaging experts. Operatives outside the White House — including the Democratic National Committee — will offer air cover to the new president by playing defense on social media and cable news in the hopes that it lets Biden and incoming VP Kamala Harris stay out of the fray.

"I'm sure there will be political hatchet men in the Biden universe who will be happy to take Donald Trump apart as needed, but I don't think they're going to have the president do it," said Joel Payne, a Democratic strategist who worked on Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign.

Democrats desperately want to ignore Trump and his missives, and Biden's top aides have already telegraphed their desire to talk about the soon-to-be ex-president as little as possible.

... Biden has been taking shots at Trump's policies lately, accusing the current president of bungling the response to the coronavirus pandemic and failed to prevent the massive cybersecurity attack against federal agencies. But by and large, he's tried to avoid the kind of personal mud slinging that Trump seems to revel in.

"My focus is on uniting, not emphasizing the divisions," Biden told reporters on Tuesday when asked whether the political climate will change in the post-Trump era.

That's Biden's best strategy for combating Trump, six Democratic operatives told Insider this week.

"Ignore the nastiness," advised Lanny Davis, the longtime Democratic strategist who helped the Bill Clinton White House deal with scandal and investigations and more recently represented Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen during his criminal proceedings.

"The worst thing you can do with Trump is to ignore him," Davis added. "The way he's going to get his narcissism fed after he leaves the White House is by trying to bug and troll Joe Biden." ... "It's pretty clear Trump's not going to play by anybody's traditions or rules," said Beychock. "It's probably to be expected that he'll break all precedent because he craves the attention, and he'll want the money, and maybe he thinks that he'll build some leverage to get him out of some of the legal jams that he'll face."