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Former Starbucks CEO possibly considering presidential run

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is assembling a public relations team as he considers running for president in 2020, according to CNBC.

(WTHR) — Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is assembling a public relations team as he considers running for president in 2020, according to CNBC.

In an interview with CNBC earlier this year, the business executive did not rule out running for president. One of the people who has reportedly joined Schultz's team is Steve Schmidt, a political analyst on MSNBC and an ardent critic of President Donald Trump.

Schmidt, a former Republican, left the party earlier this year. He previously managed the presidential campaign for Sen. John McCain's run in 2008.

Schultz has also reportedly brought on PR executive Cheryl Cook and Rajiv Chandrasekaran, who worked closely with Schultz at Starbucks and was previously a correspondent at the Washington Post.

Some political strategists believe the additions to his team are clear signs he's considering a presidential run.

One of John Kasich's former aides, Thomas Rath, said having Schmidt by his side would be invaluable to Schultz, thanks to his familiarity with politics. Democratic strategist noted many candidates in the past have had a wide variety of industries represented in their teams, noting Ronald Reagan and the Clintons both had filmmakers on their campaign team.

There are still some reasons to believe Schultz's run is not a done deal yet, though. He hasn't visited Iowa or New Hampshire, states with early primaries frequently visited by candidates. He hasn't met with state or national Democratic party leaders.

While Schultz would run as a Democrat, he has critiqued the party in the past, saying he thinks it could be leaning to far to the left.

"It concerns me that so many voices within the Democratic Party are going so far to the left," he said in a June interview with CNBC. "I say ot myself 'How are we going to pay for these things?'"

Schultz said the party needed to be careful about ideas like a single-payer health care system and government jobs for all because it not "realistic."

Schultz stepped down from the role of Starbucks' CEO in June 2018. He is now chairman emeritus. His foruth book, "From the Ground Up: A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America" will be released Feb. 12, 2019.