SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A conservative Republican launched his bid for the White House as an alternative to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on Monday.

Evan McMullin posted a ‘Letter to America’ on his website to announce his independent candidacy, making the case that ‘millions of Americans are not being represented by either of these candidates.”

A former undercover CIA operative and investment banker in San Francisco, McMullin has spent the last three years as an foreign affairs and national security adviser to House Republicans.

“My service has given me unique, firsthand knowledge of the threats our nation faces, the burdens borne by hardworking Americans, and the numerous areas of our government that desperately need reform,” says McMullin.

The 63-year-old earned an MBA from the Wharton School of Business and did his undergraduate studies at Brigham Young University. He shares the same Morman faith as Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential candidate.

So far, Romney has not endorsed McMullin, but he has made no secret of his dislike for Donald Trump, something else he and McMullin share.

Trump’s anti-immigrant stance, particularly against Muslims, riles McMillan, who according to his resume, spent more than a decade as part of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service, working mostly in hostile environments including Syria, Jordan and Iraq. He volunteered as a Morman missionary in Jordan, helping displaced refugees. Trump said early in his campaign he wants to prevent Middle Eastern refugees from entering America.

“As Donald Trump continues attacking Muslims and as a former CIA officer, I’d like all Americans to know the truth: American and other Muslims have played a central role in virtually every counterterrorism win we’ve had since 9/11,” wrote McMullin in a recent Facebook post. “They are an indispensable asset in this fight. Attacking them as a group makes America weaker, not stronger.”

He called Trump’s recent attack on Gold Star mom Ghazala Khan, the Muslim mother of a fallen U.S. soldier “profoundly despicable… no one who fails to understand this is fit to be our commander-in-chief.”

McMullin has similarly harsh words for Clinton, who he refers to as a “corrupt, career politician” in his campaign letter.

“She fails the basic tests of judgment and ethics any candidate for President must meet. Moreover, she only offers stale economic ideas like the same old top-down government control that has brought us eight years of historically low growth,” says McMullian.

In his declaration for candidacy for President of the United States, McMullin paints himself as part of a new generation of leadership. As for the untimeliness of his bid, he adds, “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.”


CBSSF.com writer, producer Jan Mabry is also executive producer and host of The Bronze Report. She lives in Northern California. Follow her on Twitter @janmabr.

 

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