A new “candidate” has arisen to challenge Donald Trump. Politico says, “Evan McMullin, the former chief policy director for Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives, will offer discontented members of his party an option this November by launching an independent, conservative bid for president.” Yeah, yeah, yeah. We’ve heard that before. Remember when Bill Kristol, of the Weekly Standard, tried to get Mitt Romney—or anybody—to run, and then settled for the guy down the hall (David French)?

No, seriously! Twitter said so!

“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,” McMullin said in a statement to ABC News. “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. I humbly offer myself as a leader who can give millions of disaffected Americans a conservative choice for President.”

Citing “multiple sources” in a series of posts to Twitter, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough was the first to announce McMullin’s bid. He said McMullin will kick off his campaign Monday and has “the backing of key $$ contributors in the Republican Party.”

BuzzFeed also reported McMullin’s independent bid for the White House, similarly citing unnamed sources. And before noon, a web site launched soliciting donations for “Evan McMullin for President.”

McMullin, who has never held elected office, was an operations officer for the CIA for 11 years from 1999 to 2010, according to his LinkedIn page. He earned an MBA in 2011 from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the alma mater of GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump. He has also worked at Goldman Sachs, as a volunteer refugee resettlement officer for the United Nations and as a deckhand on a commercial fishing boat in Alaska.

Nobody seems sure what McMullin is doing now.

McMullin, who has never held elected office, was an operations officer for the CIA for 11 years from 1999 to 2010, according to his LinkedIn page. He earned an MBA in 2011 from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the alma mater of GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump. He has also worked at Goldman Sachs, as a volunteer refugee resettlement officer for the United Nations and as a deckhand on a commercial fishing boat in Alaska.

ABC News adds more:

The operatives working on McMullin’s bid resigned from Better for America in order to work on his candidacy. The operatives from the group, a 501(c)(4) organization that cannot officially endorse or back McMullin’s bid, has been working for months on trying to select a candidate and get on ballots throughout the country. In some states, like Texas, they will likely have to sue to get on the ballot. A 501(c)(4) is an issue-based nonprofit that can raise unlimited funds and does not have to disclose its donors.

Somehow, the BBC always has a good handle on what’s going on here.

The group Better for America had been reportedly searching for an independent presidential candidate to put up against Mr Trump. . .

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough first announced the independent bid on Twitter, adding that the candidate would have support from major Republican party donors.

The Utah native graduated from Brigham Young University and has a master’s of business administration from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, according to his LinkedIn page.

He also served as a Mormon missionary in Brazil.

Mr McMullin left the CIA in 2010 after 11 years before working for Goldman Sachs.

He became a senior adviser on national security for the House Committee on Foreign Affairs in 2013 and subsequently the chief policy director of the House Republican Conference.

Fox News doesn’t give him much hope.

Though Evan McMullin would be a longshot and immediately faces a challenge simply getting on the ballot, his candidacy highlights frustrations lingering within the Republican Party over nominee Donald Trump. McMullin’s strategy likely will be to target Republicans in red states still on the fence about a Trump presidency. . .

Realistically, getting McMullin’s name on the ballots in all 50 states will be a steep if not impossible climb. Adding to that, McMullin has little name recognition. He hasn’t been shopped around to the television networks and is rarely quoted in publications.

Although BuzzFeed is a little more optimistic for him.

Key players in the GOP’s anti-Trump movement are preparing to launch an independent presidential campaign for Evan McMullin — a CIA veteran and the chief policy director of the House Republican conference — sources close to the effort told BuzzFeed News.

Veteran Republican strategist Rick Wilson, a Florida-based media consultant and outspoken Trump critic, is expected to be involved in McMullin’s campaign. Sources said Wilson was in Washington on Sunday meeting with members of McMullin’s prospective campaign — which includes some who were involved in a group called Better for America, which has been pushing an independent presidential bid. . .

Sources said McMullin was planning to file his paperwork Monday around noon. Apart from his low profile, his candidacy will face other substantial hurdles in gaining traction — especially with ballot access and fundraising. But people close to the effort suggested McMullin would have the backing of serious Republican donors and fundraisers. They also pointed to his ties to Utah, a state where polls show Trump badly underperforming with the Mormon-heavy electorate. McMullin, a Mormon and an alum of Brigham Young University, plans to aggressively contest the state.

Heavy.com offers five “fast facts” about McMullin.

1. Despite His Long Public Service Record, He’s Never Held Elective Office

2. He Called Donald Trump an ‘Authoritarian’ During Trump’s RNC Speech

3. His Highest-Profile Speech Is a TEDx Talk on Genocide in April

4. He Was a Volunteer Refugee Resettlement Officer in Jordan for the UN

5. McMullin Thinks America Needs to Show Strength Around the World & Criticized Obama for Leaving Iraq

And Independent Journal makes it six.

1) Evan McMullin, who is 40 years old, had a minimal public profile before announcing

2) Evan McMullin has a Bachelor of Arts degree and an MBA

3) Evan McMullin was in the CIA

4) Evan McMullin worked for Goldman Sachs

5) Evan McMullin worked as a staffer for the US Congress

6) Evan McMullin defended the family of fallen Capt. Humayan Khan against Trump

Here’s another thing to know: With all the talk about McMullin all of a sudden, we have heard nothing—at all—from The Weekly Standard, or it’s editor, William Kristol—the chief NeverTrumpian in the country. Is he upset that McMullin was “NIH” (“not invented here”)? Or maybe he’s upset that he was the last to know?

Don’t panic Trump fans.

Polls have shown that most Republicans have fallen in line with the GOP nominee. And as I noted elsewhere, a significant portion of Hillary Clinton’s “support” is really “NeverTrump” people. So if McMullin does draw votes, it will, more than likely, be from Hillary.

19 COMMENTS

  1. You gotta be kidding. Just like Bernie Sanders in the latter days of the Dem primary, this path is not exceedingly steep and rocky, it is similar to an attempt to rappel up El Capitan on a strand of barbed wire.

  2. This piece is ridiculously slanted and void of value. This piece gave me no information but it will fuel the fodder of will he/won’t he storylines and anti-party sentiments. It’s tiresome and boring.

  3. I, for one am sick and tired of Republican elites trying to sabotage the candidate of their party. Like him or not the Republican electorate overwhelmingly voted for Trump.

    Each and every time I hear about a new saviour for the Republicans from the clutches of the evil Trump, I think back to my childhood. It is like the kid who brings a ball to the park to play with others and when he doesn’t get his way TAKES HIS BALL AND GOES HOME!?

    Some Republican elites and so called strategists are acting worse than this kid because they didn’t get their way.?

    • If you will check the stats on Real Clear Politics web site you will see Trump only got 46% of the Republican vote during the primaries. That means 54% of Republicans did not want him as the nominee. But because of our inadequate election law processes, Trump was able to get the nomination.

        • Real Clear Politics makes clear the 54% is mostly accumulated by three candidates, Cruz, Rubio and Kasich. The flaw in our election process is it allows plurality winners instead of mandating majority winners. This process does not let us find out whether Trump was truly the consensus choice of the majority of Republicans or the leader of a motivated minority–and leaves us with the questions as to whether he truly is entitled to the nomination.

          • He is the nominee and any Republican who tries to denigrate his accomplishments is a true RINO!!!??

            • Clearly Trump played by the rules and the rules allowed him to be the nominee. I’m suggesting that all the Parties need to review their election processes to preclude plurality winners.

            • I agree with you on your point. But do you think that the both parties will get rid of their arcane rules. The present use of SUPER DELEGATES by the Democrats is what can turn a close primary into a runaway for the parties CHOSEN ONE.?

            • I think this election brings forth an opportunity with both parties because each of them has had their membership victimized by their (as you put it) arcane rules. Remember these rules will be changed by state legislatures and just getting started state candidates may be more amenable to considering changes like this. Look also at Maine, which will have Instant Runoff Voting on the ballot this November for state wide offices.

          • Unfortunately, no one is talking about reform now. Trump complained until he won. Now, he doesn’t care.

            Are you suggesting a two-phase primary–with the top two running against each other in the second ballot?

      • The election process? Were you watching the debates sir? He ran against 16 other candidates, most of whom I rather liked. That being said, and despite them all, Mr. Trump won fairly and beat them all. I don’t know whether you are democrat, republican or independent, but if you support our pro-Christian, military, veterans, jobs platform, please do Americans a favor and vote for Mr. Trump.

  4. I will be voting for Trump in November, period, paragraph, end of story. I have never voted for a Democrat for President because in my voting life there was, in my considered opinion, never one that even came close to what I was looking for in a President. Trump was not my first choice, but neither were most of the 16 Republicans who sought the nomination. Washington despised political factions and I can appreciate his sentiments. That being said, today, the so-called “democrats” need to shed their label and identify themselves for what they really are, revolutionary and doctrinaire marxist ideologues wanting to establish a “ruling class” that would preside over an oppressive marxist oligarchy.. The Republicans need to be replaced with a new party as well, something along the line of a “Constitutional Union Party” that would stress a constitutional republic, free enterprise, a strong middle class, a love for America’s core beliefs and commitment to individual initiative and achievement; fiscal responsibility and respect for a civil order based on individual liberty and responsibility.

  5. Nobody liked trump or hillary we the people did not pick them they were chosen by the racists,,,,,,,,,,,, we all wanted ted cruz, mcmullen or bobby jindal young ones

    • No sir. Clearly, “we all” did not want those mentioned. I am voting for Mr. Trump, and you’ll be hard pressed to call me a racist if you saw me. I also, in no way, shape or form, believe Mr. Trump is either. I think you get my point. God bless.

  6. Yea right,,,,,,,,,,,,, the best people didnt get to nominate ted cruz or better,,,,,,,,,,, like bernie lost to hillary,,,,,,,,,,, hillary and trump is trash

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