Another possible explanation for Trump’s silence is that he is, belatedly, discovering the virtues of discretion — particularly now that he no longer enjoys the immunities and perks of office, such as having the Department of Justice to do his bidding. The writer E. Jean Carroll, who claims Trump raped her in a New York department store dressing room years ago, is suing him for defamation because in denying her accusation he called her a liar. Under Attorney General William Barr, the Department of Justice undertook to defend the suit, but the Biden administration might not be so compliant.

Or maybe it’s just that Trump hasn’t yet found a form of expression as convenient and congenial as Twitter. It is no exaggeration that Trump’s political career owes as much to Twitter as to “The Apprentice.” He understood, better than any other political figure, that he could use that platform to reach voters directly, without the expense of buying TV commercials or the inconvenience of media fact-checkers or the awkward constraints of grammar or logic. It was a venue for him to feed his insatiable desire for approval (“Do you think Putin will be going to The Miss Universe Pageant in November in Moscow – if so, will he become my new best friend?” he tweeted on June 18, 2013) and to boast about his television ratings, approval ratings, IQ, money, golf game (“Just won The Club Championship at Trump International Golf Club in Palm Beach…”) and even his hair (retweeting a fan who wrote that his “hair is magnificent. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”)