ST. CLAIRSVILLE, Ohio -- Donald Trump said repeatedly Tuesday that supporters of the multinational Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal want to "rape" the United States.
During a rally here a few hours after delivering an uncharacteristically disciplined speech in neighboring Pennsylvania, in which he underscored his staunchly protectionist economic positions, Trump, sounding proud of his address, started to repeat the seven-step plan he walked through in the afternoon. One of the steps: withdrawing the United States from the trade deal, known by the acronym TPP.
"The Trans-Pacific Partnership is another disaster done and pushed by special interests who want to rape our country," Trump said. "Just a continuing rape of our country. That's what it is, too. It's a harsh word -- it's a rape of our country. This is done by wealthy people that want to take advantage of us and that want to sign another partnership."
Trump's opposition to TPP highlights how he stands at odds with many leading Republicans on the issue of trade. The majority of congressional Republicans voted to give President Obama fast-track authority to complete the trade deal. Obama is a vocal backer of TPP.
Thousands of supporters packed into a hot gymnasium here to listen to the real estate mogul, cooling themselves with fans fashioned from fliers and pro-Trump signs.
Supporters listened intently as Trump went through several details of the plan he outlined earlier Tuesday at Monessen, Pa., outside Pittsburgh. Looking at his notes uncharacteristically, Trump repeated his ideas for renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement as president and his intention to instruct his Treasury secretary to label China a currency manipulator, among other things.
But they really came alive when he began to aggressively slam TPP. He said it would destroy jobs and promised that under his administration he would create work for average Americans. People cheered loudly.
The presumptive GOP presidential nominee, as he did earlier in the day, aggressively criticized Clinton during the rally. He pointed out Clinton's support for TPP as secretary of state. She has since said she does not support the pact.
Trump called Clinton "totally overrated" and said she could not bring jobs back to the United States even if she really wanted to do it.
In a press release responding to Trump's Pennsylvania speech, Clinton's campaign argued that Trump had "doubled down on erratic proposals" but that he had also copied some of her ideas on trade -- including TPP.
Sullivan reported from Washington.