Trump has a curious rhetorical trick of saying he’s not going to say something, which he then uses as a wedge to say it. A prime example came tonight when he said he wasn’t going to talk about the poll numbers the way he usually does, but then preceded to go off for a few sentences about how if he did talk about the polls, he’d mention he’s doing great in Iowa and all the other states, as well as the national poll.
Another example came in the infamous tweet about Fox’s Megyn Kelly: “I refuse to call Megyn Kelly a bimbo, because that would not be politically correct. Instead I will only call her a lightweight reporter!” In effect, he called Kelly a “bimbo” even in the act of saying he won’t. Trump’s whole schtick, of course, is breaking norms. This is a way to break norms even when you claim to respect them.