Wednesday 21 March 2018

Trump riles rival by giving out his mobile number at rally

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

Ben Brody in Washington

DONALD Trump has provoked yet another storm by reading out at a campaign rally the mobile number of one of his rivals for the Republican nomination.

During the event in Bluffton, South Carolina, attended by thousands of people, billionaire Trump read out a phone number he said belonged to Lindsey Graham, the local State senator

Both men have clashed over Trump's tone on immigration and his comment that Graham's friend, Senator John McCain, is considered a war hero because he got captured in Vietnam.

Earlier yesterday, Graham had said he was indifferent to whether Trump dropped out of the presidential race as long as he stops "being a jackass".

Trump responded: "What a stiff ... by the way, he's registered zero in the polls."

The billionaire said Graham gave him his number a few years ago when he called to ask for a campaign donation and a "good reference" at Fox News, where Trump is a frequent guest.

He then held up a yellow piece of paper with a phone number with the Washington DC area code written on it.

"Give it a shot," Trump said. "Your local politician, you know? He won't fix anything but at least he'll talk to you." 

A call to the number went to voicemail, which played a recording of a woman's voice saying the number belonged to Graham. Graham spokeswoman Brittany Bramell confirmed it was the senator's number, and his campaign blasted Trump's tactic. 

"Donald Trump continues to show hourly that he is ill- prepared to be commander in chief," Graham campaign manager Christian Ferry said.

"The two people most excited about Donald Trump's candidacy are Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton."

Meanwhile, Ohio Governor John Kasich yesterday became the 16th - and presumably the last - serious contender to join the overflowing field of Republicans seeking the White House.

Mr Kasich was a managing director of the now defunct Lehman Brothers bank.

Irish Independent

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