One of Donald Trump's characteristic rhetorical devices is praeteritio ("passing over"), where the speaker says something by saying they're not going to say it. An especially nice specimen came up in a rally in Iowa on Thursday:
So should I hit these people? No I won't.
But so here's what happened.
So this very very great governor —
like your governor's a great governor —
this very great guy's a friend of mine calls me up.
How's it going?
I said man! I been hit.
These people are hittin me,
I'm gonna go — and I was all set —
I was gonna go, and I was gonna talk about each individual one of them,
I was gonna say that De Blasio's the worst mayor in the history of our city but I couldn't say it,
oh he's a terrible mayor,
probably won't be there too long cuz he's got problems like you wouldn't believe,
but he's a terrible mayor.
But I was gonna say that but now I won't say it.
But- but I was gonna talk about other people, so
viciously because I have so many things to say.
And he goes no, what are you doing?
I said, what are you talkin about?
He said don't hit there.
I'm far from the first person to have noticed this characteristic of Mr. Trump's style. He's even featured in the Wikipedia entry for this rhetorical device, which cites Igor Bobik, "He Would Never Say It, But This Is Donald Trump’s Favorite Rhetorical Device", Huffington Post 2/6/2016, and quotes these examples:
"I promised I would not say that [Carly Fiorina] ran Hewlett-Packard into the ground, that she laid off tens of thousands of people and she got viciously fired. I said I will not say it, so I will not say it."
"I refuse to call [Megyn Kelly] a bimbo, because that would not be politically correct."
In the De Blasio riff quoted above, Trump puts front-and-center an aspect of this device that is usually only implicit: breaking the "fourth wall" and talking with the audience as if they were behind the scenes with him, discussing his choices in public rhetoric.