Donald Trump gave out Lindsey Graham’s cell phone number during a live, televised campaign rally, marking the latest twist in the Republican presidential primary election.
Trump and Graham had been feuding because of insults the real estate mogul lobbed at Sen. John McCain. Graham, a close friend of McCain’s, retaliated by calling Trump a “jackass” on CBS News.
Not content to let the feud die, Trump brought up the South Carolina senator during a campaign stop in the state Tuesday.
“He doesn’t seem like a very bright guy,” Trump said of Graham during the event televised on CNN and other national media outlets. “He actually probably seems to me not as bright as Rick Perry. I think Rick Perry probably is smarter than Lindsey Graham.”
Taking it up a notch, Trump then read out loud a phone number he claimed belonged to Graham, encouraging those in the crowd to “try it.”
“So, I don’t know, give it a shot,” he said. “Your local politician. He won’t fix anything, but at least he’ll talk to you.”
Many people called the number, though most report getting a voicemail message saying Graham is not available.
“When it comes to the Donald, nothing surprises me anymore,” Graham told a Politico reporter who dialed the number Trump disseminated. “It’s just too bad, really.”
The mogul has been making headlines since his candidacy announcement on June 16, during which he called undocumented Mexican immigrants “rapists” and “criminals,” among other things.
Since then a number of business partners have parted ways with the tycoon-turned-politician. Univision and NBC both opted not to broadcast the Miss USA pageant, which Trump co-owns. The pageant, which was held on July 12, aired on Reelz Channel instead. NBC also dumped Trump as host of “The Celebrity Apprentice.”
Additionally, the outspoken Republican was dropped by Macy’s, which carried a Trump menswear line, though he claimed that the decision to part ways with the retailer was actually his.
However, Trump has surged to the top of the Republican field. On Monday, a Washington Post-ABC News poll revealed that the purported billionaire is enjoying twice the support of his closest rival, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, with 24 percent of registered Republicans and Republican-leaning independents.