PHILADELPHIA — Donald Trump seized on Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s comments that Hillary Clinton will flip and support the Trans-Pacific Partnership almost as quickly as Mrs. Clinton’s team disavowed them, pointing out that he’s warned in the past of her looming betrayal on the issue.
“As I have been saying, Crooked Hillary will approve the job killing TPP after the election, despite her statements to the contrary: top adv.,” Mr. Trump tweeted Wednesday.
Mr. Trump had also shared a Politico story — in which Mr. McAuliffe predicted Mrs. Clinton would support some version of the trade deal after the election — in a tweet Tuesday night: “Just like I have warned from the beginning, Crooked Hillary Clinton will betray you on the TPP.”
“I worry that if we don’t do TPP, at some point China’s going to break the rules — but Hillary understands this,” Mr. McAuliffe, a top Clinton surrogate, had told the news outlet. “Once the election’s over, and we sit down on trade, people understand a couple things we want to fix on it but going forward we got to build a global economy.”
Then asked if Mrs. Clinton would support the trade deal she and Sen. Bernard Sanders have opposed during the Democratic primary, he said, “Yes. Listen, she was in support of it. There were specific things in it she wants fixed.”
A McAuliffe spokesman later told Politico the governor doesn’t have any expectation that she would change her position on the legislation and she hasn’t told him she would either, and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta said Mr. McAuliffe was wrong.
“Love Gov. McAuliffe, but he got this one flat wrong. Hillary opposes TPP BEFORE and AFTER the election. Period. Full stop,” Mr. Podesta tweeted Tuesday.
The massive trade deal has attracted atypical coalitions on both sides. Mr. Trump has likened it to a “rape” of the United States, while Mr. Sanders says such agreements hurt U.S. workers.