Bernie Sanders Says 'Yes' to Voting for Hillary Clinton in November

Bernie Sanders says vote Hillary Clinton
Former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks during a rally in the Manhattan borough of New York on June 23. Sanders has urged his supporters to back Hillary Clinton. Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Bernie Sanders said on Friday morning that he will vote for presidential rival Hillary Clinton in the November election—but the Vermont senator has still not withdrawn from the race to the White House.

"Yes," the losing presidential Democratic contender said when asked on MSNBC's Morning Joe whether he would vote for Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, in the November general election. "I think the issue right here is I'm going to do everything I can to defeat Donald Trump."

Sanders has hinted recently that his campaign soon will draw to a close, but until Friday he had refused to endorse Clinton or acknowledge his opponent as the party's presumptive nominee—despite the historic feat she claimed after crucial primaries in New Jersey and California on June 7.

On Friday, Sanders also reiterated to CNN that he aims to help the Democratic Party pass the most progressive platform in its history, including solving income inequality and introducing a nationwide $15 minimum wage.

Sanders has frequently highlighted his goal of creating a government to represent every American, instead of just a handful of wealthy campaign contributors. In a Thursday night speech, which he called "Where We Go From Here," Sanders vowed to continue his "political revolution" for what he referred to as "real change."

"Our goal from day one has been to transform this nation, and that is the fight we are going to continue," he said to cheers from his supporters, who gathered at a venue in New York City's Times Square. He encouraged his followers to get involved at the local level to build a grassroots movement to eventually defeat the establishment.

For weeks, top Democrats, including some of his key supporters, have called on him to concede to Clinton in an effort to unify the party ahead of the national convention in July and the election in November. He returned to the Senate earlier this week, for the first time since January, to vote on a series of gun control proposals.

Clinton has yet to comment on Sanders pledging to support her in the election.

During the episode of Stephen Colbert's Late Show that aired Thursday night, Sanders said that while he understands Clinton has a higher delegate total, he wants to marshal his resources to make sure that "we defeat Donald Trump and we defeat him badly," and to transform the United States by continuing with his political revolution.

Meanwhile, on the Republican side, Trump, the party's presumptive nominee, drew parallels between his campaign and the United Kingdom's referendum vote on Thursday to leave the European Union. During a visit to Scotland to open the Turnberry golf course, Trump on Friday said it's a great thing the residents of the U.K. have "taken back their country."

"They want to have independence in a sense," he said. "You're going to have I think many other cases where they want to take their borders back. They want to take their monetary back. They want to take a lot of things back."

"I think you're going to have this happen more and more. I really believe that, and I think that it's happening in the United States," he added. "It's happening by the fact that I've done so well in the polls."