Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has “accepted” the fact that Hillary Clinton is the Democratic presidential nominee, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday.
The comments came after President Barack Obama endorsed Clinton in a web video, saying, “I don't think there's ever been someone so qualified to hold this office. I want those of you who have been with me since the beginning of this incredible journey to be the first to know that I'm with her. I’m with her. I’m fired up. And I can't wait to get out there and campaign with Hillary.”
Clinton clinched the Democratic nomination after a win in the New Jersey Democratic party this week, becoming the first woman in American history to top the ticket of a major political party.
Sanders on Thursday vowed to work together with Clinton to defeat Donald Trump in November, bringing the Democrats closer to unity, according to CNN.
Sanders' decision to continue his White House bid even after Clinton became the party's presumptive presidential nominee has had Democrats on high alert as they seek to quickly change gears and take on Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
Sanders' first explicit promise on Thursday to join forces with Clinton to take on the Republicans will help quell concerns among Democrats about divisions in the party.
Emerging from the White House after a meeting with Obama that lasted more than an hour, Sanders warned that a Trump presidency would be a "disaster" and that he would "work as hard as I can to make sure that Donald Trump does not become president of the United States."
"I look forward to meeting with (Clinton) in the near future to see how we can work together to defeat Donald Trump and to create a government which represents all of us and not just the 1%," Sanders told reporters, according to CNN.
In a press briefing Thursday afternoon, White House spokesman Josh Earnest described the meeting as a "friendly conversation that was focused on the future," and said Obama congratulated Sanders on his "remarkable accomplishment" in the Democratic race.
Sanders' meeting with Obama and his public remarks afterward came just days after Sanders declared that he intends to continue his 2016 campaign, despite Clinton’s becoming the presumptive nominee.
Sanders sat down in the afternoon with Reid, his longtime friend, who had publicly said Sanders should "give up."
Reid described the meeting to reporters afterward as a "good visit," and emphasized that Sanders has the good will of the Senate Democratic caucus.
The Nevada senator said Sanders made no mention of changing the reality that Clinton is the party's presumptive nominee, and quipped that Sanders appears to have "accepted that.