PROVO, Utah – If the probe into Russian ties to President Trump and several of his associates turns up any evidence of wrongdoing, the Utah man who ran against him will be able to say, "I told you so."
At a Q&A session at his alma mater, BYU grad Evan McMullin offered some keen insight into the issue that is roiling America.
“During the campaign, I warned about his ties to Russia, and not a lot of people listened to me, more people laughed than listened,” McMullin said. "...And now just recently, we learned the very shocking news that our president's team, and potentially the president, is under FBI investigation for potential collaboration with our greatest foreign, or one of our greatest foreign adversaries."
McMullin’s background gives some weight to his opinions. He told the students he attended BYU because of its reputation as a pipeline to intelligence agency jobs.
After seven years as a CIA operative, his skill set landed him a job as a senior adviser to the House Foreign Affairs Committee and later Chief Policy Director for House Republicans.
But despite his experience, McMullin said the shadowy revelations about Russia shocked him.
"Think about that! When has that happened in history, when else has that happened, when else has that been the case?" McMullin said during the Q&A.
He's referring to stories involving former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and short-lived former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. There is also Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and billionaire oligarch Oleg Deripaska.
The numbers just don't add up for McMullin.
“But so many Russian connections, so many of them dubious,” he said. “So many of them Russian intel related, or hacker related, at a time when that very country is working to influence our election: That is unheard of."
McMullin even hinted that he knows things that he hasn't made public, things that helped motivate him to run for president.
“It’s not because I thought it was going to be fun, alright, it's because I honestly believed, and still do, that Donald Trump presents a danger to the country,” he said.
McMullin says he will be "surprised" if the probe into the Russian ties to Trump and his team don't turn up evidence of illegal activity.