— -- As a former CIA operative, independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin believes Donald Trump is a major threat to America’s national security, even saying in a speech earlier this year that he poses “a larger threat to our national security than ISIS itself.”
McMullin took aim at the Republican presidential nominee on this week’s episode of the “Powerhouse Politics” podcast with ABC News Political Director Rick Klein and ABC News Congressional Correspondent Mary Bruce, saying that Trump’s dangerous rhetoric is hurting U.S. counterterrorism efforts.
“By undermining our ideals, he weakens us on a much larger scale than even a terrorist organization that might carry out these horrendous attacks,” said McMullin. “It’s on a strategic level that many Americans perhaps might not think about, but as a former CIA guy, this is sort of what I think about.”
McMullin explained: “With regard to terrorism -- what he doesn’t realize is that we actually depend on Muslims to do counterterrorism, to wage war against terrorists.” And when Trump attacks an entire population by proposing a ban on Muslims, for example, he “decreases their willingness to work with us, with other Muslims, and that impedes our ability to destroy ISIS.”
“Trump has never sacrificed anything for this country, and in fact, he has attacked people who have,” McMullin continued, referring to Trump’s inflammatory comments about the Gold Star parents of a Muslim-American soldier who died in Iraq.
“It just makes me sick to my stomach when I see him attacking the mother of a fallen hero or John McCain,” he said. “It just makes me sick to my stomach that this guy thinks he’s prepared to be commander-in-chief.”
McMullin also discussed his long-shot third-party candidacy on the podcast, saying that after waiting for someone with national name recognition to step up and challenge Trump, he realized it was time to take matters into his own hands.
“That’s why I’m doing it now,” he said. “Not because I think it’s ideal, but because nobody else was doing it, and I have such profound conviction that this needed to be done by someone for so many reasons.
“I am unknown because I’ve avoided the limelight so that I could serve,” McMullin added. “In the case of Donald Trump, he has avoided service so that he could seek the limelight.”
As for whether McMullin thinks he will be a spoiler for Trump?
“Trump is not going to win the presidency because he himself is a weak, weak candidate,” McMullin said, noting that Clinton was not a strong candidate either. "That is the thing. He is losing. He is ensuring that Hillary Clinton wins the White House."
“But if your candidacy takes away some Republican votes, doesn’t that make it -- by definition -- more likely that he loses?” Klein asked.
“Well, I think he’s going to lose anyway. I really do. He’s performing terribly against Clinton,” replied McMullin. “He’s a terrible candidate.
“You couldn’t find a worse candidate for a general election,” he continued. “You can’t have a general election candidate alienating all kinds of races, religions, genders. It just doesn’t work.”
Despite missing the filing deadline for ballots in over two dozen states, McMullin is confident that he will attract American voters with his new leadership and fresh ideas.
“This country needs a new generation of leadership. Both of these candidates offer old ideas,” McMullin said. “Americans are hungry for something new, some new approach ... I just don’t see this happening with these two candidates.”