Steve Schmidt no longer a paid MSNBC contributor after he begins advising 'spoiler' Howard Schultz on presidential run
Steve Schmidt appears on MSNBC (screen grab)

Political analyst Steve Schmidt is no longer a MSNBC contributor because he is advising billionaire Howard Schultz on a possible independent bid for the U.S. presidency.

According to the Free Beacon, MSNBC is dropping Schmidt as a paid contributor after Schultz this week appeared to be moving forward with his presidential plans.

Earlier this week, journalist Eleanor Clift criticized Schmidt for supporting a possible "spoiler" in the presidential race.

“And the danger is, you’re going to elect the candidate you least want to elect,” Clift warned on Sunday. “Steve Schmidt has spent the last two years kind of apologizing for his role in getting Sarah Palin on the ticket with John McCain.”

“I think he’d think long and hard about being part of another effort that could well turn out not like wants it to,” she added.

(Note: The headline has been updated for clarity. Steve Schmidt is no longer a contributor while he advises potential presidential candidates, but has not been fired.)