Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainRomney forced into GOP primary for Utah Senate nomination Trump considering pardon for boxing legend after call from Sylvester Stallone GOP poised to advance rules change to speed up Trump nominees MORE (R-Ariz.), a frequent face on the Sunday shows, offered some advice Tuesday to the new host of "Meet the Press," telling Chuck Todd to stay true to the program’s roots. 

McCain said Todd should follow the lead of former host Tim Russert and keep the public affairs show focused on the political dynamics in Washington. 

"One of the things about Tim Russert is, he really had the best minds of America, but not on every subject, but particularly what was going on in Washington, D.C., because I think that is what the original purpose of ‘Meet the Press’ was," McCain said in a surprise interview on Todd’s MSNBC show “The Daily Rundown.”

The Arizona senator has made more appearances on “Meet the Press” than any other politician, surpassing former Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.).

While he is still a regular face on other Sunday shows, McCain has made only one appearance on the program in the last two years, according to a tally kept by Congressional Quarterly. 

Todd is taking over for David Gregory, who stepped in to fill Russert's place when he died in 2008. 

"I called to congratulate you as the person who has the most appearances on Meet the Press,” McCain joked with Todd. “I'd be glad to give you a lot of advice and council, including the best gotcha questions of the week.”