Sabrina Siddiqui in Washington, and Lauren Gambino and Amber Jamieson in New York Monday 8 August 2016 09.48 EDT Last modified on Monday 8 August 2016 12.20 EDT Evan McMullin, a little-known former CIA operative, is launching a third-party bid for president as a conservative alternative to Donald Trump.
He is expected to file paperwork on Monday afternoon, but would nonetheless face hurdles getting on the ballot in states where the deadline has already passed.
McMullin has repeatedly denounced Trump as an “authoritarian” and used the #NeverTrump hashtag on Twitter, where he boasted 135 followers before his presidential announcement propelled him to more than 7,000 by mid-morning on Monday.
Though McMullin has never held public office, his mother, Lanie McMullin, is involved in local government, serving as the economic development executive director for the city of Everett, Washington, about 30 miles north of Seattle.
McMullin’s Twitter profile reveals a sharp interest in the Syrian civil war and a disappointment with the US’s response to the conflict, still raging in its fifth year.