Political Strategist Steve Schmidt Returns to MSNBC

Steve Schmidt - H - 2019

He left the network earlier this year to advise businessman Howard Schultz on a potential presidential bid.

Political strategist Steve Schmidt has returned to MSNBC and NBC News as a political analyst, the network confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter on Friday.

Schmidt, who ran John McCain's presidential campaign and formally left the Republican Party last year amid his opposition to the Trump presidency, left the networks earlier this year to advise former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz on a presidential bid.

Schultz did not end up launching a campaign, and so Schultz is back on television providing commentary.

He founded a podcast, Words Matter, along with fellow MSNBC contributor Elise Jordan, but left in protest of an on-air interview about Schultz.

“My objection is not on a tough question," he said at the time. "It’s the surreality of having a podcast hijacked from me. Until this recording, I had always thought this was Elise’s and my podcast.”

Schmidt appeared Thursday on Nicolle Wallace's afternoon show, though he was identified in a chyron as a "former Republican strategist" rather than as a contributor.

Wallace pushed back on Schmidt's suggestion that some Republican members of Congress could break with the president and support impeachment. "Do you feel suspense about what way the Republican will go?" she asked.

Schmidt also served as a contributor on the third season of Showtime's campaign show The Circus.