A late addition to the presidential pool pushed by the Never Trump gang
WASHINGTON – A Central Intelligence Agency veteran and former chief policy director of the House Republican Conference will announce his independent presidential bid on Monday.
Evan McMullin plans to run as an alternative to GOP nominee Donald Trump, according to multiple reports. BuzzFeed News reported that veteran Republican strategist Rick Wilson is expected to be involved with McMullin’s campaign.
A campaign site went live mid-morning Monday with the tagline, “It’s never too late to do the right thing. And if we work together, there’s nothing we can’t achieve.”
McMullin is “no longer an employee of the House Republican Conference,” House GOP spokesperson Nate Hodson said, adding, “The House Republican Conference has zero knowledge of his intentions.”
Though McMullin has been a vocal critic of Trump on social media, he has just 3,500 followers on Twitter, although that number is rising rapidly as news of his possible candidacy spreads. An alum of Brigham Young University, and the University of Pennsylvania, McMullin doesn’t appear regularly on television and has spent most of career as a CIA officer.
Joe Scarborough, a former GOP congressman from Florida and host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” was first to report the pending announcement.
Scarborough said the independent presidential candidate would aim to get on 20 to 30 state ballots, adding that he personally thinks the campaign “has more to do with stopping Donald Trump than actually electing a president.”
“Certainly they still believe they can go past the 270 [electoral votes] threshold so this person will be able to be in debates,” Scarborough said.
McMullin served in the national clandestine service at the CIA for 11 years, ending in 2010, where he managed clandestine operations related to counterterrorism and other issues.
He then went to work at Goldman Sachs in San Francisco, before working for two years as a senior advisor at the House Foreign Affairs Committee and a little under two years as chief policy director at the House Republican Conference.
McMullin has never run for public office before and his vice presidential running mate has not yet been announced.
Republicans hoped earlier this year that an independent presidential candidate would launch a campaign as an alternative to Trump, who has fallen behind Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in polls recently.
It is possible that Mitt Romney and other key members of the Republican Party will throw their support behind McMillin. There are a number of financial backers of the GOP who are ready to commit some cash to the candidate but at this point no figures have been discussed.