Dem senator: ‘Why are people still talking about Hillary vs Bernie?’

Dem senator: ‘Why are people still talking about Hillary vs Bernie?’

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) on Wednesday questioned why the Democratic party is still litigating the 2016 presidential primary between Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP struggles with retirement wave Overnight Energy: Trump to revoke California's tailpipe waiver | Democrats propose bill to revoke Trump endangered species rollback | Trump officials finalize rule allowing fewer inspectors at pork plants Mark Mellman: The most important moment in history? MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersJimmy Carter: 'I hope there's an age limit' on presidency 2020 candidates keep fitness on track while on the trail Mark Mellman: The most important moment in history? MORE (I-Vt.).

Sanders waged a tough primary campaign against Clinton last year, presenting himself as a progressive alternative to the former secretary of State.

The Vermont senator endorsed Clinton last July when it became clear she would become the 2016 Democratic nominee.

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Sanders said Tuesday that he does not consider himself a Democrat, even as he joins Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez in a national unity tour.

“No, I’m an Independent,” he said when asked by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews whether he now identifies as a Democrat.

Sanders also believed that Clinton’s “I’m with her” slogan last year was “phony,” according to a new book by The Hill’s Amie Parnes and Sidewire’s Jonathan Allen.

“It’s so phony!” he said when he was approached to record an ad for Clinton’s campaign last September. “I don’t want to say that.”

More recently, Sanders has drawn fire from Democrats for saying he isn't sure that high-profile Democratic Georgia special election candidate Jon Ossoff is as a "progressive." But Sanders remains popular, ranking as the most popular active politician in a recent poll.