August 8, 2016

A CIA veteran and former chief policy director for the House Republican Conference has launched an independent bid for president.

In a letter on his newly launched campaign website, Evan McMullin states that he believes Americans need an alternative to the Democratic and Republican nominees, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

“With the stakes so high for our nation and at this late stage in the process, I can no longer stand on the sidelines,” McMullin wrote.

On an issues section of his website, McMullin describes a fairly conventional Republican platform without much detail, including supporting the military, simplifying the tax code, ending the Common Core education standards, reforming or replacing Obamacare and expanding domestic oil and gas production.

McMullin appears to side with Establishment Republican thinking over Trump on immigration, trade and foreign policy.

His platform breaks with Trump, who has called immigration reform “amnesty,” by calling for a “path to legal residence and in some cases citizenship” for “law-abiding people” after the “borders are secure.” Like Trump, McMullin calls for negotiating “stronger trade deals” but argues that “closing doors to trade opportunities won’t bring back jobs.” And he argues in favor of American global leadership, saying that “withdrawing from the world makes us less safe, not more.”

McMullin, who had just 135 followers on Twitter earlier Monday, has seen that grow to nearly 20,000.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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