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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 12, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 33
Who the hell is Evan McMullin?

Ex-spy, ex-stockbroker, ex-missionary challenges Trump for GOP votes
Section One
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Who the hell is Evan McMullin?

Ex-spy, ex-stockbroker, ex-missionary challenges Trump for GOP votes

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Evan McMullin announced August 8 that he will run as an independent conservative candidate for president.

McMullin, a former CIA counterterrorism operative, former stockbroker, former refugee resettlement specialist, and former Mormon missionary, was recruited by Better for America, an anti-Trump group. He currently lives in Provo, Utah.

McMullin had been working as chief policy director of the House Republican Conference but resigned to launch his presidential bid. He is already too late to get on the ballot in several states, but he could be a factor in other states, especially in Utah, where he might draw enough votes away from Trump to swing the state's electoral votes to Hillary Clinton.

Branding Clinton 'a corrupt career politician' and charging that 'Donald Trump appeals to the worst fears of Americans,' McMullin said, 'I humbly offer myself as a leader who can give millions of disaffected Americans a conservative choice for President.'

McMullin served in the CIA for 10 years, from 2001 to 2011, heading up spying and counterterrorism operations in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia.

He then went to work for Goldman Sachs and started advising Republican members of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee. He was subsequently hired by the House Republican Conference as its senior policy advisor.

His announcement of a presidential run came on the same day that 50 key Republican national security experts released a letter denouncing Donald Trump.

'We are convinced that in the Oval Office, he would be the most reckless president in American history,' the letter said.

Names on the letter include former CIA and National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden, former Director of National Intelligence and Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, and Eric Edelman, who was Vice President Dick Cheney's national security adviser.

It also includes two Homeland Security secretaries under George W. Bush, Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff; and former World Bank President and Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick.

Whether McMullin had advance knowledge of the letter is not known.

According to Better for America, several prominent Republicans will back McMullin. The group said Republican consultant Rick Wilson and Florida-based pollster and operative Joel Searby were supporting McMullin's candidacy.

Better for America has been funded in part by John Kingston, a Boston-based conservative donor who bundled for Mitt Romney.

McMullin earned his 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.

After graduating, he went as a Mormon missionary to Brazil and worked as a refugee resettlement officer for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Amman, Jordan.

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