Watch CBSN Live

Lindsey Graham to Donald Trump: Thanks for the new phone

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said Wednesday that at least one positive thing has resulted from Donald Trump's decision to give out his cell phone number publicly: it forced him to ditch his old flip phone.

"We're marching forward," Graham told CBSN. "One way to make sure that your phone can't be used is for somebody to give your number out on national television. But Donald's done something my staff could not do, and that's get me to upgrade to a better phone."

How to destroy your phone, featuring Sen. Lindsey Graham

When CBS News' Contessa Brewer ribbed Graham on his old school flip phone, Graham said he was trying to start a retro trend. "It's coming back one day, you know. It will be the new thing one day," he predicted. "But unfortunately, the flip phone has probably seen its last days, and I'm going to have to make a decision to move forward. And Donald Trump, in that regard, thanks a bunch."

In a video released Wednesday by IJReview, Graham offered a tutorial on how to destroy your cell phone, but he clarified in the interview that the phones being destroyed were not his.

"My phone is actually safe and secure and these were stunt phones," he explained. "You know how hard it was to find 12 flip phones? It took us all day to find 12 flip phones."

On a more serious note, Graham said he hasn't enjoyed rebutting Trump's recent provocative remarks, the silliness over the phone notwithstanding.

"This hasn't been a whole lot of fun, when you have to respond to someone who says that most illegal immigrants are rapists and drug dealers when I know that not to be true. Most are good, hardworking people who are fleeing oppressive conditions," he said. "What got me going with Mr. Trump is when he put in question John McCain and every other POW's status as a war here, saying they're some kind of loser because they got captured."

"If you want to be commander-in-chief, don't go down that road, so it's not really fun slandering groups of people," Graham said. "What Mr. Trump is offering is demagoguery. It's not the best of who we are. In that regard, it's not a whole lot of fun. But the phone thing was fun."

The feud between Graham and Trump, both competing for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, began Saturday when Trump suggested Arizona Sen. John McCain, one of Graham's closest friends, is not a war hero because he was captured during the Vietnam War.

"I like people that weren't captured," Trump said.

Trump rally: Heavy on insults, low on substance

Graham objected, calling Trump a "jackass" during a Tuesday appearance on "CBS This Morning."

And Trump immediately fired back, telling a South Carolina audience about the time Graham gave him his cell phone number -- and reading the number aloud as proof.

In the interview with CBSN, Graham also weighed in on the recent nuclear agreement with Iran, calling it a "disaster on every front."

"After 15 years they can have as big a program as they would like. They're going to get $100 billion of new money without having to change their behavior, and we threw in lifting the conventional weapons ban in the process," he said. "This is a disaster. All of our hopes and dreams of dismantling their program have vanished. The idea of anytime anywhere inspections is a joke, and we're empowering a regime that's very destructive."

Graham also discussed Wednesday's indictment of Dylann Roof, the man accused of killing nine black members of a Charleston church last month, on federal hate crime charges.

"I don't mind charging him in federal court, but please don't suggest for one moment that the legal system in South Carolina won't deal with this," he said. "We will. He'll be charged with nine counts of premeditated murder. He'll be facing the death penalty in South Carolina."

View CBS News In