Donald Trump is acting in the interests of a foreign power, former presidential candidate Evan McMullin has claimed. The independent presidential candidate and former CIA operative suggested that the president-elect’s behavior was helping someone other than the United States.
McMullin appeared on MSNBC‘s AM Joy and discussed Donald Trump’s recent actions with host Joy Reid, according to Raw Story. McMullin questioned Trump’s loyalty to the U.S. and wondered if the president-elect was directly influenced by a foreign nation.
“There are two tests, the first test is this question: Does Donald Trump act on behalf of a foreign power, or does he act in the interests of a foreign power especially over our own interests,” McMullin told Reid.
“The clear answer to that is, yes, and that is very alarming.”
“The second question is: Does Donald Trump act under the control of a foreign power?” McMullin asked.
“That’s very hard to determine. I think we would know more if we had his tax returns. But it very disturbing and peculiar, to say the least, that Donald Trump, that there is one thing he’s consistent on, it’s his defense of Vladimir Putin and the Russians. He will change his views on a range of things, but not on that, over the past year he has remained absolutely consistent on that.”
McMullin ran as an independent candidate for president last year and styled himself a real conservative. McMullin criticized Trump for lacking genuine conservative credentials and beliefs. Though there was some speculation that McMullin would do well in Utah, he failed to win any states.
Donald Trump’s response to the Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee has been criticized by McMullin and others. Trump initially refused to accept that Russia was behind the hack and he continues to reject the idea that Russia wanted to help his election.
Trump now accepts that Russia was responsible for the hacks but denies they had any effect on the outcome of the election, according to The Guardian. Trump’s incoming chief of staff Reince Priebus claimed that accepted the findings of the intelligence agencies.
“When this whole thing started, it started from the Russians 50 years ago, in other words this is something that has been going on in our elections for many many years,” Priebus said.
“It happens every election period.”
U.S. intelligence services, including the CIA and FBI, have concluded that Russian hacking was intended to assist Donald Trump to win the White House. Trump has spoken warmly about Russian President Vladimir Putin and says he wants a closer relationship with the country.
McMullin is the first major conservative commentator to suggest that Trump might be actively influenced by a foreign power. McMullin was a CIA agent before serving as a policy adviser to Republicans in Washington. His unlikely bid for the White House excited some conservatives and libertarians who opposed Donald Trump.
McMullin’s claim that Trump is acting in a way that benefits foreign powers over the United States may worry Trump’s opponents but it is unlikely to change the beliefs of his core supporters. The Senate will begin hearings on Trump’s cabinet nominees next week, though they have not yet completed ethics checks.
Trump continues to tweet about Russia and his desire to improve relations between the two major powers. Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, has close personal and business ties to Russia and is an acquaintance of President Vladimir Putin. McMullin’s charge that Trump may be directly controlled or in communication with foreign nations could become a talking point for Senate Democrats, and some anti-Putin Republicans, who will interview Tillerson.
[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]