RUCKER: I have to ask you because this has been the story now for four days: the Khan family. I’ve seen the statements you’ve put out and what you had to say last night on Fox News. First of all, does it bother you that they continue to do interviews and sort of drive the —Unfair media — said 3 times. That's exactly what he wants to say.
TRUMP: Just unfair media. Just the unfair media. It’s purely and simply the unfair media.
RUCKER: What do you mean by that?Again: repetition. These are clear statements, said twice. He knows what he wants to say. He was attacked, and when attacked he defends himself.
TRUMP: They want the story to stay alive as long as possible.
RUCKER: Do you think they’re somehow trying to, the Khan family, are they on TV to try to help Hillary?
TRUMP: People have to form their own opinion. I’ve said everything I can say about it. I was viciously attacked from the stage, and I have a right to answer back. I’ve said everything I could say. I was viciously attacked on the stage, and I have a right to answer back. That’s all I have to say about it.
RUCKER: Do you understand why some people would say that you lack some sort of common decency?He doesn't take the bait and discuss his own "decency." He repeats the points already repeated: the media is unfair to him and he was responding to an attack.
TRUMP: I think frankly a lot of people agree with what I’m saying. I was viciously attacked on the stage. All I did was respond to it. Pure and simple. It should’ve been a one-hour story and they make it a longer story.
RUCKER: It’s a four-day story.Why did Rucker say that? I think he's prodding Trump to say he should have handled it differently, that it stayed in the media so long because he wouldn't agree with any of the outrage over his remarks. But Trump won't deviate:
TRUMP: I mean fine. So, I have no further thing to say other than I have a right to answer back.Why won't Trump even concede that he could have handled it better? I think it's because if the media get him to step back on this one, they will only come up with the next one — I'll bet there are 3 or 4 lying there in the Rucker interview alone — and the media will dog him about that until he steps back. Every day, it will be a game of getting Trump to step back on something, and Trump's style and flow will be wrecked. He can see that's the game and he knows he can't play their game.
Just unfair media. Just the unfair media. It’s purely and simply the unfair media.ADDED: Two issues I see in the Rucker interview — readymade as the new Outrage of the Day — are: 1. Where there's no voter ID law, people are just "voting and voting and voting" — "like 10 times." 2. When women experience sexual harassment in the workplace, they can choose to get a different job.
There's also the way Trump watches TV all the time and might have an attention deficit disorder. WaPo's Chris Cillizza analyzes the Rucker interview and notes this:
[Trump looks at a nearby television, which was tuned to Fox News.] Oh, did they have another one of these things go down? It’s terrible that crash. Never liked that plane, structurally. I never thought that plane couldCillizza's take:
This is Trump. The dude watches a LOT of cable TV. And he appears to never be concentrating on any one thing for very long.My take on that is: 1. Trump gave Rucker an interview but handled it in an alpha-male, dismissive way: He's also watching TV. 2. Trump can handle many things at once without losing his place. 3. Trump seems to have some depth of knowledge about the structural soundness of various planes.
Why didn't Rucker jump on #3 and test him? If that vignette about the plane is evidence of an inability to concentrate, as Cillizza would have it, why not test him, suddenly, on the spot, and smoke out the bullshit? I'd speculate: 1. Rucker failed to see his opportunity, or 2. Rucker had to worry that Trump actually could speak with impressive knowledge about the structural soundness of planes and didn't want to give Trump an opportunity.