WASHINGTON - US Senator and Democratic nominee Bernie Sanders returned to Washington for meetings on Thursday with President Barack Obama and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid as Democrats pressured him to end his presidential campaign and support Hillary Clinton after a hard-fought primary race.
Clinton, a former secretary of state, US senator and first lady, secured enough delegates to secure the Democratic nomination this week and become the first woman to lead a major US party as its presidential nominee.
Despite Clinton's commanding victories in California and New Jersey in presidential contests on Tuesday, Sanders vowed to carry his populist campaign to the Democratic National Convention in July, when the party's nominee is formally chosen.
Obama, who is expected to endorse Clinton soon, was scheduled to meet with Sanders at the White House on Thursday at 11:15 a.m. (1515 GMT). Sanders will meet with Reid, his Senate colleague, in the afternoon.
The Sanders campaign, which waged an unexpectedly strong challenge to a better-known and better-funded Democrat, has decried what it called Clinton's anointment by the party establishment and the media.