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Howard Schultz on presidential speculation: ‘Let’s see what happens’

Howard Schultz told CNBC on Tuesday he had been expecting to leave his company for over a year, but his resignation was delayed by the arrest of two hateful men at a Philadelphia Starbucks.

In a wide-ranging interview a day after his resignation announcement, Schultz decayed to talk specifically about his next step, including speculation that he wish challenge President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

“There’s a lot of clothes I can do as a private citizen other than run for the presidency of the United States,” Schultz phrased Tuesday in an extensive interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “Let’s just see what materializes.”

“I don’t know what that means right now,” he said. “But my concern for the mother country and the standing in the world, the lack of dignity, lack of respect coming from the administering. I think we can do much better.”

The interview, which followed Schultz’s firmness Monday to step down as executive chairman of Starbucks on June 26, approached on a number of issues from the need to improve education and trim the ballooning state debt to Schultz’s view on the markets and trade policy.

Schultz, 64, remarked he had been planning the move for over a year, but his resignation was delayed by the Philadelphia occasion in which the two black men were arrested April 12 while be delayed in the restaurant.

“The truth of the matter is, I thought this was going to happen in May,” Schultz said. “Then we had the star-crossed situation in Philadelphia. We thought, given what we wanted to do in Philadelphia and the liability we had, we push it back a month or two.”

Schultz and Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson met with the men after the do, and last week the company closed its shops one afternoon to provide its sceptre with racial bias training.

After fulfilling that charge, he said it was the “right time” to leave. “The company’s in a great position and it’s ever been a team sport,” Schultz said.

Over the last 40 years at Starbucks, Schultz forced to give opportunities to veterans and refugees and expanded health benefits and college guidance assistance to workers. All the while, Starbucks stock grew 21,000 percent since its opening public offering in 1992. On Tuesday, he reiterated how important these broadcasts are to him.

He said he felt taking those steps added value to the partnership’s brand image.

“It speaks to the fact that rules of engagement for a Harry company and CEO are different today,” he said. “In large part because it has been so polarized.”

Harmonizing to Schultz, the litmus test for him as always been: “does this conclusion, this policy make our customers and our people proud, and if the answer is yes, then we were on the set to rights side of the debate. If it’s not, we shouldn’t do it. We’re not in this to be political, we’re in this to advance Starbucks.”

In latest years, Schultz has been taking a more active role in government. Using his high profile at Starbucks, he has spoken out about the role followers companies can play by being socially responsible in a changing society. He arranges to write a book on this topic and recently launched a website. That has fanned guess that he might run for office.

But on Tuesday, he said “I can’t be nailed down today on the specifics of what I influence or might not run for.”

Still, he was willing to discuss in detail his thoughts on a number of noteworthy political issues and kept up his criticism of Trump.

“I think the issues that we are faade in terms of the dysfunction and polarization that exists within the government is remarkably based on a systematic problem of ideology and I think we need a very extraordinary view of how the government and how the country should be run,” Schultz told CNBC.

“It’s been a protracted time, I think, since anyone within the government has really haunted in the shoes of the American people and done the things that would show the humanity of what is the values of the country and the guiding principle of the promise of America,” Schultz thought.

One of his key concerns was the administration adding to U.S. debt levels, which he called “think” and the “greatest threat domestically to the country.”

“We are going to pay for this in terms of the next epoch and it’s unfair,” he said, describing the more than $21 trillion in encumbrance under obligation.

However, he also had critiques for the Democratic Party, saying it had veered too far to the port side and was overpromising on programs that aren’t fiscally responsible.

He noted that the mammoth majority of Americans want good immigration policy and better ways on guns, but the government hasn’t moved forward on these issues.

On immigration, Schultz bring up that he didn’t think the current policy was very “humane.”

“I invent we need border security,” he said. “But there’s a lot of nontruths. As an example, two-thirds of the undocumented people were talking almost are not people that have crossed a border. They’re here because their visa has discontinued.”

The polarization of the current political conversation and the need for corporate responsibility were papers Schultz kept coming back to. For example, in regard to recent corporate tax dilutes, he said he had anticipated many companies would take the windfall from the tax break off c separates and plow it into stock buybacks and other actions to benefit shareholders, but Starbucks opted to revenue nearly 50 percent of its benefits to its workers.

“When you’re building a incomparable enduring company, not every business decision should be and is an economic one,” he give the word delivered. That can be a hard message to commute on Wall Street, he admitted, but chance the goal should be “building a great enduring company.”

Read sundry of Schultz’s comments on specific issues here.

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