A longtime GOP Capitol Hill operative and former CIA officer launched an independent bid for president to offer an alternative for Republican loyalists who don’t back Donald Trump.
Evan McMullin said on his campaign’s Facebook page he was challenging the Republican nominee for president “because it’s never too late to do the right thing.”
McMullin has been a critic of Trump on his personal Facebook page over attacks the billionaire businessman has made on Muslims, including against the parents of U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, who was killed in Iraq in 2004.
“Our country needs leaders who are in it for the right reasons,” McMullin wrote Aug. 4. “Leaders who actually understand what makes this nation the hope of the world.”
McMullin’s run is considered to be an uphill battle because many state filing deadlines for independent presidential candidates to appear on state ballots have already passed. The number of states that have put such deadlines in the rearview mirror now amount to a majority of electoral college votes.
McMullin is a former chief policy director for the House Republican Conference and was a senior adviser on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, according to LinkedIn.
A spokesman for the conference said McMullin is no longer an employee there and that it “has zero knowledge of his intentions.”
The former CIA agent worked on counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations during his 11 years with the agency, according his online profile.
He has taken to Facebook in recent days to highlight his own experience while criticizing Trump.
“As Donald Trump continues attacking Muslims and as a former CIA officer, I’d like all American know the truth: American and other Muslims have played a central role in virtually every counterterrorism win we’ve had since 9/11,” McMullin wrote. “They are an indispensable asset in this fight. Attacking them as a group makes America weaker, not stronger.