Trump urges Sanders supporters to join GOP after senator suspends campaign

 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBubba Wallace to be driver of Michael Jordan, Denny Hamlin NASCAR team Graham: GOP will confirm Trump's Supreme Court nominee before the election Southwest Airlines, unions call for six-month extension of government aid MORE on Wednesday urged Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersJacobin editor: Primarying Schumer would force him to fight Trump's SCOTUS nominee Trump campaign plays up Biden's skills ahead of Cleveland debate: 'He's actually quite good' Young voters backing Biden by 2:1 margin: poll MORE's supporters to join the Republican Party after the independent Vermont senator announced he was suspending his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Trump also thanked Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenJudd Gregg: The Kamala threat — the Californiaization of America GOP set to release controversial Biden report Biden's fiscal program: What is the likely market impact? MORE (D-Mass.), reiterating his belief that she may have taken away enough votes from Sanders on Super Tuesday last month to cost him states. Warren finished third or in some cases a distant fourth in each state Joe BidenJoe BidenJoe Biden looks to expand election battleground into Trump country Trump puts Supreme Court fight at center of Ohio rally Special counsel investigating DeVos for potential Hatch Act violation: report MORE won on Super Tuesday.

"Bernie Sanders is OUT! Thank you to Elizabeth Warren. If not for her, Bernie would have won almost every state on Super Tuesday!" Trump tweeted.

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"This ended just like the Democrats & the DNC wanted, same as the Crooked Hillary fiasco," he added. "The Bernie people should come to the Republican Party, TRADE!"

Sanders's decision to suspend his campaign paves the way for Biden to secure the Democratic presidential nomination.

The president has sought for months to stoke tensions within the Democratic Party around Sanders's candidacy. He has repeatedly suggested the party establishment was attempting to "steal" the nomination from the progressive senator, though Wednesday's tweet marked his most explicit outreach to potentially disaffected Sanders supporters.

Trump continued to tweet as Sanders delivered remarks about his decision. The president questioned the senator's decision to remain on the ballot to collect delegates and exert influence over the Democratic platform, and he later suggested some of Sanders's most progressive allies would not back Biden.

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"Can’t see AOC plus 3 supporting Sleepy Joe!" Trump tweeted, referencing Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezThe Memo: Dems face balancing act on SCOTUS fight Ocasio-Cortez hits back at Marjorie Taylor Greene over 'dumb blonde' joke on Twitter Ocasio-Cortez to voters: Tell McConnell 'he is playing with fire' with Ginsburg's seat MORE (D-N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarDemocrats scramble on COVID-19 relief amid division, Trump surprise Larry Kudlow defends response to coronavirus: Trump 'led wisely' The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by National Industries for the Blind - Woodward book revelations rock Washington MORE (D-Minn.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibGeorge Conway: 'Trump is like a practical joke that got out of hand' Pelosi endorses Kennedy in Massachusetts Senate primary challenge The Democratic Party platform represents our big tent MORE (D-Mich.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleySan Francisco considers changing local voting age to 16 Hillicon Valley: Election officials prepare for new Russian interference battle | 'Markeyverse' of online fans helps take down a Kennedy | GOP senators unveil bill to update tech liability protections 'Markeyverse' of online fans helps take down a Kennedy MORE (D-Mass.). Pressley supported Warren's candidacy, while the other three lawmakers were Sanders surrogates.

Trump and Sanders — whom the president has dubbed "Crazy Bernie" — have some overlapping policy views on trade and both rode populist waves in 2016 to become front-runners in their respective primaries.

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But Sanders has been among the harshest critics of Trump's presidency, labeling him a racist and a liar and more recently chastising him for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Updated at 12:21 p.m.