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Third-Party Candidate With GOP Backing, Money Joining Race

Third-Party Candidate With GOP Backing, Money Joining Race

By    |   Monday, 08 August 2016 09:15 AM

A newcomer to elective politics is jumping into the White House race.

Evan McMullin, chief policy director of the House Republican Conference and an alumnus of the CIA, announced Monday that he is launching a third-party presidential campaign. He has also brought a campaign website online.

"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 told 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."

An anti-Trump group, Better for America, has been working for several months to put a third-party candidate on the ballot, but may face legal battles in states like Texas, where they may have to file suit to be included on the ballot.

According to ABC, McMullin, born in Provo, Utah,  holds a bachelor's degree in international law and diplomacy from Brigham Young University and a Master's of Business Administration from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

He also was a Mormon missionary in Amman, Jordan for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. He was in training at the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, at the time of the Sept. 11 attacks. After completing his training, McMullin volunteered to serve in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, where he worked with counterterrorism and intelligence operations in some of the most dangerous nations, Better for America reported.

After leaving the CIA in 2011, McMullin went to work at Goldman Sachs in San Francisco, and two years later become a senior national security adviser for the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, later becoming the chief policy director of the House Republican Conference.

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough reported McMullin's plans first on Monday morning.

Scarborough at first didn't name either the sources or the potential candidate on air, except to say that he has heard the person is a young former CIA agent.

"I could be wrong at 7:04 [a.m.] but several good sources told me that people, er, Republicans, from let's just say, 'Never Trump land,' found somebody and they're going to put good money behind him," Scarborough said.

But off the show, Scarborough tweeted:

Scarborough later stated McMullin's name on air as well, praising him as "somebody Republicans could get behind," and saying he has "more credentials" to run for the presidency than Trump.

BuzzFeed News also reported on Monday that McMullin plans to run and that veteran GOP strategist Rick Wilson, another outspoken Trump critic and media consultant, intends to be involved in the campaign.

Unnamed sources told BuzzFeed that Wilson met in Washington on Sunday with members of a prospective campaign for McMullin, including Better for America, which has also been seeking an independent candidate.

BuzzFeed said its sources reported McMullin was planning to file paperwork at about noon.

"The return of David French?" Bloomberg Politics editor Mark Halperin interjected, referring to the short-lived push from The Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol for the constitutional lawyer, Iraq war veteran and writer for National Review to seek the White House as an alternative for Trump.

"This is French 2.0," Scarborough responded. "Someone like, I mean, I think it will be in that realm... somebody French-like."

Later, he said the person could be someone "between David French and [Ohio Gov.] John Kasich."

Scarborough said he thinks a third-party candidate entering the race at this point could "make matters worse," but at the same time, such a candidate could "still get on ballots for up to 300 Electoral College votes."

"And you could bring lawsuits in the other places," Halperin said of the other states.

"I think at this point, the people that are talking about funding this are more interested in Trump losing than electing their candidate," said Scarborough.

"And giving Republicans who are running for other offices someone to say they're voting for instead of saying they're not voting for Hillary Clinton," Halperin responded.

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A newcomer to elective politics is jumping into the White House race.Evan McMullin, chief Republican policy director of the House Republican conference and an alumnus of the CIA, announced Monday he is launching a third-party presidential race.
third-party, candidate, morning joe, scarborough
Monday, 08 August 2016 09:15 AM
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