Anti-Trump conservative launches US presidential bid

(Evan Vucci, AP)
(Evan Vucci, AP)

Washington - As if Hillary Clinton were not formidable enough of a rival, Donald Trump now faces competition from a new quarter - largely unknown Republican dissident, Evan McMullin, who launched his White House bid on Monday.

"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," McMullin, a little-known former CIA counter-terrorism operative, said on his Facebook page.

The 40-year-old McMullin's entrance in the race highlights how the "Never Trump" movement is still actively seeking to upend Trump's candidacy less than three months before the election.

The Republican Party's official presidential nominee has endured a turbulent two weeks in which he suffered many self-inflicted wounds, with increasing numbers of Republicans expressing concerns about Trump's capacity to run the country or voicing outright support for rival Clinton.

"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. "I humbly offer myself as a leader who can give millions of disaffected Americans a better choice for president."

McMullin's road will be extremely difficult. The deadlines to get on the ballots in several of the 50 US states has already past, he has zero national name recognition. Previous "Never Trump" efforts to install a counter-candidate to Trump never got off the ground.

A former House Republican aide, McMullin has been an occasional if fierce Trump critic on social media, calling him an "authoritarian" last month on Twitter.

Conservative group Better For America, which opposes a Trump presidency, is backing McMullin's candidacy, according to ABC News. But as a non-profit "social welfare" group it is not allowed to officially endorse a presidential bid.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When a Covid-19 vaccine for under 16's becomes available, will you be taking your children to get it?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, immediately!
36% - 1993 votes
I'll wait to see how others respond
27% - 1507 votes
No, I don't think they need it
37% - 2042 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
14.69
(-1.49)
ZAR/GBP
20.81
(-1.52)
ZAR/EUR
17.98
(-1.93)
ZAR/AUD
11.76
(-1.73)
ZAR/JPY
0.14
(-1.29)
Gold
1791.42
(-0.66)
Silver
28.05
(+0.43)
Platinum
1259.48
(-0.03)
Brent Crude
66.41
(+2.64)
Palladium
2433.99
(-0.04)
All Share
67050.91
(+1.28)
Top 40
61629.10
(+1.45)
Financial 15
12309.00
(-0.37)
Industrial 25
86255.14
(-0.34)
Resource 10
69722.23
(+4.48)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo