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MSNBC pundit Steve Schmidt blasted Vice President Mike Pence's decision to walk out on his hometown Indianapolis Colts after the visiting 49ers knelt for the national anthem.

Schmidt, a former Republican operative who served as Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) 2008 presidential campaign strategist, ripped into the Hoosier on "Morning Joe" for what he called Pence's "stunt."

Schmidt said Pence wasted taxpayer money by flying Air Force Two from Las Vegas to Indy, and then back to the West Coast after prematurely leaving Lucas Oil Stadium.

"[Pence took a] full package of Secret Service from Las Vegas to Indianapolis for a stunt; inconvenienced tens of thousands of Colts fans to... use the flag and the anthem as a prop."

"He ought to be ashamed of himself," Schmidt said, saying Pence displayed "utterly appalling, wasteful, profligate, disgusting behavior."

He said that, while Pence and President Trump object to disrespecting the flag and anthem, that it is the White House that displays the "greatest desecration" of the flag in recent times because of what he called the administration's "attacks on the First Amendment."

ABC's Joy Behar took a similar tact to Schmidt, saying Monday that Trump treats Pence "like a prop."

"He’s like a prop that Trump says 'do this,' he does it,” Behar said.

On "Fox & Friends" this morning, Kellyanne Conway called it "egregious" for anyone to claim that Pence pulled a "political stunt" by leaving the game early.

Schmidt also made headlines Friday night on "Real Time with Bill Maher" when he claimed that some cough syrups are harder to obtain than an AK-47. 

NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch was asked about that this morning, calling the claim "completely inaccurate."  

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