ST. CLAIRESVILLE, Ohio — Donald Trump on Tuesday prescribed fighting “fire with fire” when it comes to battling terrorism, seemingly making the case for using similarly brutal tactics as terror groups like ISIS have in the past.
The GOP’s presumptive nominee has been outspoken on enhanced interrogation, telling Tuesday's enthusiastic crowd once again that he doesn’t think waterboarding is “tough enough” and that it’s “peanuts” compared to what terrorists have done in the past. Trump lamented being limited by laws when fighting terror, allowing that waterboarding is “not the nicest thing,” but advocating for its use when “the enemy” is “chopping off people’s heads.”
“You have to fight fire with fire,” Trump decided. “We have to be so strong. We have to fight so viciously. And violently because we’re dealing with violent people viciously.”
Painting a picture, Trump told the few-thousand gathered in the Ohio University Eastern gymnasium that “they eat dinner like us. Can you imagine them sitting around the table or wherever they’re eating their dinner, talking about the Americans don’t do waterboarding and yet we chop off heads? They probably think we’re weak, we’re stupid, we don’t know what we’re doing, we have no leadership. You know, you have to fight fire with fire."
It was unclear if Trump was advocating for the United States to allow the same kind of behaviors that ISIS and other terror groups employ. A request for clarification went unanswered by the Trump campaign.
While some have talked about a “pivot” in tone and content following shakeups in his campaign, Trump showed that little had changed in battleground Ohio Tuesday evening. The Republican presumptive nominee used the word “rape” three times in consecutive sentences to describe what he feels the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is doing to the United States.
Of the TPP, which Trump has extensively spoken against, Trump said it’s “another disaster, done and pushed by special interests who want to rape our country. Just a continuing rape of our country.” The presumptive nominee allowed that “rape” is "a harsh word” — only to use it again in his next sentence. “It’s a rape of our country."
Trump has used the word “rape” to describe trade before. During a May rally in Fort Wayne, Indiana the businessman-turned-candidate said “we can’t continue to allow China to rape our country” when discussing China’s exports in relation the the United States.
Fresh off a day of policy in neighboring swing state Pennsylvania, Trump continued his trade-based tirade against Hillary Clinton, calling her “totally overrated” and alleging that even if she wanted to, she couldn’t bring jobs back. “She doesn’t even know about bringing jobs,” Trump complained. “She’s so overrated.”