UPDATE: 2:40 p.m. EDT — Evan McMullin debuted a website for his presidential campaign Monday just hours after news leaked that he would be starting an independent campaign to oppose Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. In a statement, McMullin wrote that Democratic nominee Clinton is "a corrupt career politician" and GOP nominee Trump "appeals to the worst fears of Americans."

"Like millions of Americans, I had hoped this year would bring us better nominees who, despite party differences, could offer compelling visions of a better future," McMullin wrote. "Instead, we have been left with two candidates who are fundamentally unfit for the profound responsibilities they seek."

McMullin laid out his background and platform as he explained his motivation for entering the race. "With the stakes so high for our nation and at this late stage in the process, I can no longer stand on the sidelines," he added.

But, as the Week and other news organizations pointed out, McMullin may be too late. The deadlines to get on the ballots has already passed for half the country. Some pundits speculated that McMullin's true goal was simply to win Utah, which is worth six electoral votes in November.

Original story: 

A former CIA officer and current Republican bigwig may be about to take on GOP nominee Donald Trump. Evan McMullin, the chief policy director for the House Republican conference, was preparing Monday to launch an independent campaign for the presidency, NBC and BuzzFeed News reported.

"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," he said in a statement given exclusively to ABC News. "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. I humbly offer myself as a leader who can give millions of disaffected Americans a conservative choice for president."

There have been rumors for months that conservative leaders were searching for an alternative to Trump, whose controversial rhetoric has led to a nearly 62 percent unfavorable rating. McMullin, who used to work for Goldman Sachs, could be it. He's recently been speaking out against Trump's policies on social media.

McMullin is only 40 years old and is not married, according to BuzzFeed. But he does have "an impressive resume and the backing of key $$ contributors in the Republican Party," NBC host Joe Scarborough tweeted Monday. ABC News reported he's being supported by Better for America, an organization that's spent weeks "building a campaign-in-waiting, clearing the way for a principled, credible, worthy candidate to step forward," according to its website.

Politico noted that McMullin has never held an elected position. His LinkedIn profile shows that he graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, went to graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and volunteered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. But perhaps the best thing on his page is the description of what McMullin did while serving as a deckhand on a commercial fishing ship — "I mostly just did my best not to fall in as we sailed the Alaskan seas."

When he files, McMullin will join at least two other independent candidates hoping to land in the Oval Office: the Libertarian Party's Gary Johnson and the Green Party's Jill Stein. 

A third-party candidate has never won the White House.