"I'm with her," US President Barack Obama has declared in a video statement. His support for Hillary Clinton came just after a meeting in the White House with her defeated rival Bernie Sanders.
"I want to congratulate Hillary Clinton on making history," US President Obama said in a message posted to Clinton's official YouTube page on Thursday.
"I know how hard this job can be. That's why I know Hillary will be so good at it," he continued. According to the White House, next week Obama will begin campaigning with Clinton, who recently clinched the number of delegates needed for the Democratic nomination.
"I'm with her," Obama said, referencing a rallying cry used by Clinton supporters.
Speaking with Bloomberg news, Clinton reacted to gaining Obama's support: "It just means so much to have a strong, substantive endorsement from the president. Obviously, I value his opinion a great deal personally," Clinton said.
Another key Democrat to endorse Clinton was the liberal senator Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts, who US media have tipped as a potential running mate for Clinton.
"I am ready to get in this fight and work my heart out for Hillary Clinton to become the next president of the United States and to make sure that Donald Trump never gets anyplace close to the White House," Warren told MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show."
Until Thursday, Warren had been the only holdout among the Senate's Democratic women.
Obama urges Sanders to make peace
Clinton's inner-party rival, Senator Bernie Sanders, had met with President Obama at the White House earlier on Thursday.
Sanders' campaign spokesman Michael Briggs said Obama and Sanders had discussed "how we can all work together to create an economy that works for all people and not just the 1 percent."
Obama had been expected to play the role of peacemaker while Sanders doggedly refused to abandon his campaign, despite Clinton's recent successes in the California and New Jersey primaries thatsecured her the Democratic nomination.
Sanders has decried what he sees as Clinton being chosen by the party and the media from the get-go.
Sanders: I will do everything in my power to stop Trump
After his meeting with Obama, a more conciliatory Sanders spoke to the press.
"I am going to do everything in my power and I will work as hard as I can to make sure Donald Trump does not become president of the United States," Sanders said, slamming the presumptive Republican nominee as racist and Islamophobic. A Trump presidency would be a "disaster," he said.
To that end, he said he had called and spoken to Clinton, and was "looking forward to working together" to prevent the controversial real estate mogul's political success.
He then affirmed his plans to compete in Tuesday's primary vote in Washington, DC – the last for the Democratic party.
es, ipj/kms (AP, Reuters)