Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has said he will vote for presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the November election. His announcement appears to not be an official endorsement of Clinton but an attack against presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.
On June 24, during an interview with MSNBC to discuss the recent Brexit vote, Sanders was asked by "Morning Joe" guest host Nicole Wallace if he planned on voting for Clinton come November.
"Yes," Sanders responded matter-of-factly. "I think the issue right here is I’m going to do everything I can to defeat Donald Trump. I think Trump, in so many ways, would be a disaster for this country if he were to be elected president.
"We do not need a president whose cornerstone of his campaign is bigotry … who does not believe in the issue of climate change. … This is not somebody who should become president."
During a later appearance on CNN, Sanders reiterated his support for the former Secretary of State but used less definitive language.
"In all likelihood, it will be Hillary Clinton," Sanders said.
While the Vermont senator has acknowledged that Clinton will be the Democratic nominee and that she must prevail over Trump in the general election, he has refused to end his own presidential campaign.
Sanders has said that his top priority is to shape the Democratic party in a more progressive mold during the Democratic National Convention in July.
"My job right now as a candidate is to fight to make sure that the Democratic Party not only has the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party, but that that platform is actually implemented by elected officials," Sanders continued.
The Vermont senator added that he does not believe that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) had intentionally rigged the primary against his candidacy, an accusation that a number of his supporters have levied.
"I think the system has many, many flaws, but we knew what we were getting into," Sanders said. "I’m not saying that they changed the rules. No, they didn’t."
The Vermont senator’s comments echo a speech he delivered during a rally in Manhattan, New York, on June 23, according to Fortune.
Sanders had vowed to focus on helping the Democratic party defeat Trump, stressing, “Of course we have to defeat him, and I intend to do everything I can if I have to run all over this country to do it."
“But that is not good enough!” Sanders added. “What we have got to do is continue the vision of transforming this country.”