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Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Donald Trump' if the US doesn't elect a progressive

Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Donald Trump' if the US doesn't elect a progressive
© Greg Nash

Rep. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalRep. Adriano Espaillat tests positive for COVID-19 Overnight Health Care: Trump admin makes changes to speed vaccinations | CDC to order negative tests for international travelers | More lawmakers test positive after Capitol siege Democrats to levy fines on maskless lawmakers on House floor MORE (D-Wash.), co-chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said in a new interview Monday that the United States risks ending up with "another Donald TrumpDonald TrumpEx-Trump lawyer Cohen to pen forward for impeachment book Murkowski says it would be 'appropriate' to bar Trump from holding office again Man known as 'QAnon Shaman' asks Trump for pardon after storming Capitol MORE down the road" if it fails to elect a progressive presidential candidate. 

"Even if it is a Democratic president, if we don't address these issues we will end up with another Donald Trump down the road," Jayapal told CBS News the same day she formally announced her endorsement of Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden to seek minimum wage in COVID-19 proposal Former Sanders spokesperson: Progressives 'shouldn't lose sight' of struggling Americans during pandemic 'I saw my life flash before my eyes': An oral history of the Capitol attack MORE (I-Vt.). "Because people are suffering. And our job has to be to fix that suffering."

Jayapal first told The Washington Post on Sunday of her plans to publicly back Sanders. Her endorsement comes just weeks ahead of the Iowa caucuses and as Sanders battles with Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenPorter loses seat on House panel overseeing financial sector OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Nine, including former Michigan governor, charged over Flint water crisis | Regulator finalizes rule forcing banks to serve oil, gun companies | Trump admin adds hurdle to increase efficiency standards for furnaces, water heaters DeVos mulled unilateral student loan forgiveness as COVID-19 wracked economy: memo MORE (D-Mass.) for support among progressives. The congresswoman told CBS News that she had chosen Sanders over Warren due to a belief that her and Sanders possess the same background. 

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"At the end of the day, I think for me it came down to the fact that Bernie Sanders is like me: an organizer," Jayapal explained. "He believes the change that we need is bold and big, and institutional, but it doesn't happen without building a broader movement." 

She noted that she would publicly work to support a Warren candidacy if she won the Democratic nomination. But right now, Jayapal said that she believes Sanders is the candidate to "turn this country around." 

She also contrasted Warren and Sanders with former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenConfirmation hearing for Biden's DNI pick postponed Biden's Sunday inauguration rehearsal postponed due to security concerns: report Murkowski says it would be 'appropriate' to bar Trump from holding office again MORE, saying that she didn't think Biden would classify himself as a progressive.  

"It's about understanding that while it might sound more comforting to people to have gradual change, and just do small tweaks because it feels ... less disruptive, the truth is, we have deep structural inequities in the system today," she said. 

Jayapal, who was first elected to Congress in 2016, said in a series of tweets Monday that she was putting her support behind Sanders because he "has the bold passion, authenticity & clarity that working people across this country desperately need."

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"True progressives are the first to the best and most just idea, and then they build the movement to MAKE that idea real," she added in a separate tweet, noting, among other things, that Sanders helped lead the movement for "Medicare for All." 

In addition to Jayapal, Sanders's 2020 campaign has gained endorsements from progressive Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezNew York AG sues NYPD over excessive force at Black Lives Matter protests Pressley's chief of staff said her office's panic buttons 'had been torn out' before Capitol riot Ocasio-Cortez: Congress looking into ways to rein in 'disinformation' MORE (D-N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarDemocrats poised to impeach Trump again Pence opposes removing Trump under 25th Amendment: reports Pelosi vows to impeach Trump again — if Pence doesn't remove him first MORE (D-Minn.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibOvernight Energy: EPA rule exempts many polluting industries from future air regulations | Ex-Michigan governor to be charged over Flint water crisis: report | Officials ousted from White House after papers casting doubt on climate science Ex-Michigan governor to be charged over Flint water crisis: report Cori Bush shares picture of expanded 'Squad' MORE (D-Mich.). Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chairman Mark PocanMark William PocanFormer Progressive Caucus co-chair won't challenge Johnson in 2022 Congressional Progressive Caucus announces new leadership team Battle for Pentagon post in Biden Cabinet heats up MORE (D-Wis.) has also issued support to the senator. 

Warren has, meanwhile, won endorsements from freshman Rep. Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyAyanna Pressley's husband tests positive for COVID-19 House Democrats call for investigation into 'suspicious' Capitol tours day before riot Pressley's chief of staff said her office's panic buttons 'had been torn out' before Capitol riot MORE (D-Mass.), Rep. Joaquin CastroJoaquin CastroPelosi names 9 impeachment managers Lawmaker to unveil bill ensuring nothing — 'no airport, no highway, no school' — is named after Trump Biden says Cruz, other Republicans responsible for 'big lie' that fueled Capitol mob MORE (D-Texas) and his brother Julián Castro, who announced his support after suspending his own presidential campaign. 

Sanders and Warren have based their campaigns on dismantling current systems in favor of more progressive agendas. Their visions have led to contentious confrontations with candidates such as Biden and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegAgency official says Capitol riot hit close to home for former Transportation secretary Chao Transportation Secretary Chao resigns in protest Buttigieg is blazing trails for LGBTQ equality MORE, who have called for more moderate proposals.