Bernie Sanders thanked President Barack Obama for his “degree of impartiality” during the Democratic primary and said he looks forward to soon discussing party unity with Hillary Clinton after emerging from a meeting in the Oval Office on Thursday.
“What they said in the beginning is that they would not put their thumbs on the scales. And in fact they kept their word and I appreciate that very, very much,” Sanders said of Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
The president released a video endorsing Clinton shortly after the meeting concluded. White House press secretary Josh Earnest described the meeting as a "friendly conversation" that was "focused on the future." He added that Sanders was "not surprised" afterwards when the video endorsing Clinton was released.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who shares Sanders progressive ideals, will also endorse Clinton on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show Thursday night.
Sanders made a brief statement to the press following the meeting but did not address what he and the president talked about. Obama has called for Democratic party unity now that Clinton has clinched the Democratic presidential nomination, but has not publicly called on Sanders to withdraw from the race.
"My hope is, is that over the next couple of weeks, we're able to pull things together. And what happens during primaries, you get a little ouchy. Everybody does," Obama said in an appearance on Jimmy Fallon Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters outside the White House, Sanders gave some hints about his campaign's future timeline. He vowed to compete in next Tuesday’s Washington, D.C. primary and then hopes to meet with Clinton. He also said he will fight for his signature issues -- like college affordability, income inqeuality and taking on Wall Street -- during the Democratic National Convention in July.
“I spoke briefly to Secretary Clinton on Tuesday night and I congratulated her on her very strong campaign. I look forward to meeting with her in the near future to see how we can work together to defeat Donald Trump,” he said.
"Donald Trump would clearly, to my mind and I think a majority of Americans, be a disaster as president of the United States," Sanders said. "It is unbelievable to me, and I say this in all sincerity, that the Republican party would have a candidate for president who in the year 2016 makes bigotry and discrimination the cornerstone of his campaign."
Sanders also plans to meet with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid on Thursday before holding an additional sit down with Biden and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer. He will then hold a rally in Washington, D.C.