President Obama shocked a group of Democratic donors last week when he urged them to unite behind presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, hinting that Vermont senator Bernie Sander’s campaign was coming to an end.
The New York Times reports that three anonymous individuals came forward, reporting President Obama’s remarks, though he stopped short of issuing a full endorsement. His comments, in which he called Clinton “smart, tough and experienced,” were later confirmed by the White House.
According to witnesses, President Obama acknowledged that many people have criticized Clinton for “lack of authenticity.” However, he countered by saying that former President George W. Bush was once considered authentic, but people’s opinions later shifted.
Though he didn’t call on Sanders to suspend his campaign, he did tell donors that it was vital that they formed a united front behind Clinton. If there was a divide, it would increase Republicans’ odds of taking control of the White House.