Steve Schmidt, the MSNBC political analyst and former Republican strategist who co-authored a New York Times op-ed by “Republicans” on Tuesday attacking President Donald Trump, renounced his party membership last year.
The op-ed, titled, “We Are Republicans, and We Want Trump Defeated,” announces the creation of the “Lincoln Project,” which Schmidt at his co-authors describe as a new effort “dedicated to defeating President Trump and Trumpism at the ballot box” over the next 11 months, “and to elect[ing] those patriots who will hold the line.”
Schmidt tweeted the Times article Tuesday morning, without showing any disagreement with its headline:
— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) December 17, 2019
However, Schmidt noisily renounced his membership in the Republican party on Twitter nearly 18 months ago:
29 years and nine months ago I registered to vote and became a member of The Republican Party which was founded in 1854 to oppose slavery and stand for the dignity of human life. Today I renounce my membership in the Republican Party. It is fully the party of Trump.
— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) June 20, 2018
It is not clear if Schmidt renewed his membership between June 2018 and the publication of Tuesday’s op-ed.
Last month, Schmidt returned to MSNBC after advising Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz on a possible independent run for the presidency. The Hollywood Reporter noted at the time that Schmidt had left the Republican Party:
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.
Schmidt’s co-authors include familiar anti-Trump gadflies such as Rick Wilson, George Conway, and others.
Update: Two of the other co-authors are also reportedly former Republicans:
Looked into this. 3/4 have publicly renounced GOP. Major deception by The New York Times. I believe Doha Rick is the only 1 who hasn't withdrawn from GOP.
— Jordan Schachtel (@JordanSchachtel) December 17, 2019
I voted early 2 weeks ago & didn't vote for a single Republican. It pains me to say this, after a lifetime's career in GOP politics, but today, this moment, the only choice is to vote for Democrats.
— John Weaver (@jwgop) November 6, 2018
— George Conway (@gtconway3d) July 4, 2019
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.