Dem rep: Sanders should register as a Democrat

Rep. Gregory MeeksGregory Weldon MeeksOcasio-Cortez defends decision not to pay dues to House Democratic campaign arm Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers say Facebook deepfake ban falls short | House passes bills to win 5G race | Feds sound alarm on cyberthreat from Iran | Ivanka Trump appearance at tech show sparks backlash House Democrats urge financial regulators to defend against Iranian cyberattacks MORE (D-N.Y.) on Thursday criticized Vermont Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill's Morning Report - House prosecutes Trump as 'lawless,' 'corrupt' Tensions between McConnell and Schumer run high as trial gains momentum Sanders wants one-on-one fight with Biden MORE for seeking the Democratic Party's nomination for president despite being an independent.

Meeks, appearing on CNN, called on Sanders to "run as a Democrat."

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"If in fact you want to be the Democratic nominee, you should be a Democrat," Meeks said. "If you’re not a Democrat, you should not run. You should run as an independent. He’s not a Democrat."

Sanders has previously faced criticism from Democrats for not fully embracing the party.

However, Sanders's campaign adviser, Jeff Weaver, told CNN Wednesday that the senator plans to sign a pledge affirming that he will run as a Democrat in his presidential bid and govern as a Democrat if elected.

The pledge is part of new rules implemented by the Democratic National Committee. 

But Meeks on Thursday said Sanders should go a step further and register as a Democrat.

"And then he can talk about running to be my representative. I want a Democrat to be my representative as president of the United States," Meeks said. 

Sanders said earlier this week that he will run for the presidency again in 2020 after he unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination in 2016.