Former CIA counterterrorism operative and Chief Policy Director for Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives Evan McMullin has launched a third party bid for president.
“In a year where Americans have lost faith in the candidates of both major parties, it’s time for a generation of new leadership to step up. It’s never too late to do the right thing, and America deserves much better than either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton can offer us,” McMullin said in a statement to ABC.
“I humbly offer myself as a leader who can give millions of disaffected Americans a conservative choice for President,” he continued.
A website was also set up to solicit donations called Evan McMullin for President and the first post on his website is entitled “My Letter to America.”
“Just as the American Revolution required men and women devoted to liberty and freedom to stand up and be counted, this moment calls a new generation to the same sacred task,” he wrote.
“With that in mind, I have decided to pursue the cause of American renewal and the Presidency of the United States of America,” he concluded.
He also sat down for an interview with ABC news and said that Trump is “defeating himself.”
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) August 8, 2016
McMullin is an outspoken Anti-Trump candidate. He previously called Trump out for not releasing his tax returns and had described Trump on Twitter as being authoritarian.
@realDonaldTrump use promises of law & order to justify infringing on civil rights as they consolidate control by force,” McMullin tweeted on July 21.
Authoritarians like @realDonaldTrump use promises of law & order to justify infringing on civil rights as they consolidate control by force.
— Evan McMullin (@Evan_McMullin) July 22, 2016
Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” was the first to break the story, hinting at the announcement on his show, and then tweeting the name on his account. According to Scarborough, McMullin has the support of prominent GOP donors.
The candidate revealed by sources has an impressive resume and the backing of key $$ contributors in the Republican Party.
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) August 8, 2016
Some of the states’ deadlines to get on the ballot have already passed, and the group would most likely have to sue states like Texas in order for McMullin to get onto the ballot.
Republicans critical of Trump have been floating candidates, and trying to find a suitable candidate to put their support behind, since the primaries. Earlier this year former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney put his support behind National Review contributor David French to make a third party run.
The third party bid by McMullin has the potential to hurt Trump in this year’s presidential election. While Trump’s message found resonance with a large part of the Republican party, the candidate has struggled with the more conservative arm of of the party.
One of the goals in the short term of McMullin’s campaign is to gain the required 15 percent in order to end up on a national debate stage.