Steve Schmidt’s public break from the GOP and quiet departure from his corporate PR gig earlier this summer are fueling speculation in Republican circles that that he’ll advise a presidential bid by his longtime client, former Starbucks chief Howard Schultz, or another Democratic candidate in 2020…

Working for a Schultz campaign would complete Schmidt’s decade-long process of estrangement from the Republican Party after spending much of his career at its highest levels.

For now, he remains mum on his future plans and his conversations with Schultz.

“I don’t have any plans to be on a political campaign, and I would never jump into one too lightly,” Schmidt said in an interview. “Howard Schultz is a hell of a man, a hell of a leader. I’m proud to call him a friend, but there’s no campaign, and I don’t have anything to tell you.”