Evan McMullin proudly tweets in response to Trump’s comments

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BYU alumnus Evan McMullin, independent presidential candidate for the 2016 presidential election, responded rapidly on Twitter during Donald Trump’s first “thank you” rally speech as Trump went off on McMullin.

“Remember when they said, ‘Donald Trump is gonna lose’ to some guy I had never even heard of? Who is that guy? ‘He is going to lose to this guy!'” Trump told the crowd, while speaking on the “dishonest press.”

“But the people of Utah were amazing and we trounced them. We trounced,” Trump said. “And by the way, Hillary came in second and that guy came in third. I was still trying to figure it out. I’m still trying to figure out what was he going to prove?”

McMullin said in his response on Twitter “being ‘that guy’ is an honor.”

McMullin followed up the next day with more tweets about Trump, some directly mentioning Trump himself.

BYU assistant communications professor Scott Church said McMullin’s tweet was exactly the right platform to use to respond to Trump.

“I think that McMullin’s response to Trump was clever and right on the mark,” Church said. “Given that Twitter has been the platform of choice for both of them, McMullin’s response was appropriate. Plus, with McMullin officially out of the race now, it would be unlikely for him to choose another medium to respond.”

Church also said Trump’s statement was completely within character for him, since he has never been one to follow the rules of a politician, especially political decorum.

BYU assistant political science professor Adam Brown said a good politician would be foolish to mention the name of his rival, especially when the individual already has a lesser profile.

“A politician should avoid mentioning rivals who are less known than the individual speaking, since saying the rivals name only raises his profile,” Brown said. “Trump has no reason to reference McMullin by name. If he’s going to mention him at all, he’s wise to do it obliquely.”

Ammon Gruwell, a BYU computer engineering graduate student, praised McMullin for his twitter response. Gruwell said he believes McMullin’s principle response on Twitter was no different that the ideals he stood for during his campaign.

“McMullin first sought to make one very important point clear: Trump’s true power as the leader of our country will not come from his position of authority, but rather from his championing of the principles that Americans hold most dear,” Gruwell said.

Gruwell said he thinks this courage to stand up to individuals in authority is the type of leader we need for the country.

Couple this courage with his unwavering moral compass and you have exactly the kind of leader that this country needs,” Gruwell said. “I hope he runs against Senator Orrin Hatch in 2018.”

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