President Barack Obama called Hillary Clinton Tuesday night to congratulate her on "securing the delegates necessary to clinch the Democratic nomination," according to a White House statement emailed to reporters.
The president has remained neutral in the primaries, but with voting wrapping up and Clinton emerging triumphant, there's been a flurry of reports that an official endorsement of Clinton from Obama will likely come soon — whether or not Sanders decides to drop out of the race. And Obama's acknowledgment that Clinton in the winner is likely a prelude to just such an endorsement.
Obama also called Bernie Sanders to thank him "for energizing millions of Americans with his commitment to issues like fighting economic inequality and special interests' influence on our politics," according to the statement.
Intriguingly, Sanders requested a meeting with the president, and the two will sit down at the White House Thursday to "continue their conversation about the significant issues at stake in this election that matter most to America's working families."
Here's the full White House release:
Tonight, President Obama called both Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders. The President congratulated both candidates for running inspiring campaigns that have energized Democrats, brought a new generation of Americans into the political process, and shined a spotlight on important policy ideas aimed at making sure our economy and our politics work for everybody, not just those with wealth and power.
The President congratulated Secretary Clinton for securing the delegates necessary to clinch the Democratic Nomination for President. Her historic campaign inspired millions and is an extension of her lifelong fight for middle-class families and children.
The President thanked Senator Sanders for energizing millions of Americans with his commitment to issues like fighting economic inequality and special interests' influence on our politics.
In addition, at Senator Sanders' request, the President and Senator Sanders will meet at the White House on Thursday to continue their conversation about the significant issues at stake in this election that matter most to America's working families. The President looks forward to continuing the conversation with Senator Sanders about how to build on the extraordinary work he has done to engage millions of Democratic voters, and to build on that enthusiasm in the weeks and months ahead.