Democrats unite: Bernie Sanders endorses Hillary Clinton

This photo was tweeted by the Democratic Party of Georgia on Tuesday shortly after Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.

This photo was tweeted by the Democratic Party of Georgia on Tuesday shortly after Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.

Democrats have peace at last. 

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders announced this morning ahead of a joint appearance with Hillary Clinton that he endorses the former first lady's bid for the White House, ending an arduous campaign for the party's nomination.

Sanders and Clinton were to campaign together today in Portsmouth, N.H., and Sanders' endorsement was expected. In a statement Sanders said, according to multiple reports, that Clinton "has won the Democratic nominating process and I congratulate her for that. She will be the next Democratic nominee for president and I intend to do everything I can to make certain she will be the next president of the United States."

Sanders' decision comes just two weeks before the party gathers in Philadelphia from July 25-28 for the Democratic National Convention and, after this past weekend's fight over the party platform, is the final step toward bringing the two factions together.

The New York Times reports that once together on stage, Sanders praised Clinton:

“I have come here to make it as clear as possible why I am endorsing Hillary Clinton and why she must become our next president," he said.

Less than an hour later, Clinton was using Sanders' endorsement to raise money. From a fund raising plea sent via email:

"Today, I am so honored that Senator Sanders is joining me on the campaign trail and is ready to take on Trump and the GOP. With the Republican National Convention just a week away, the Republicans are preparing to put the full force of their party toward one goal: attacking our team. If you're ready to stand with Senator Sanders and me to fight back for the future of our country, I need you to step up right now and say so."

Meanwhile, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump was quick to label Sanders a "sell out."

An emailed statement from Stephen Miller, Trump's senior policy advisor says Sanders is now part of a "rigged system." "Rigged" is a word Sanders himself has used to describe the U.S. financial system.

"Today, Bernie Sanders will be endorsing one of the most pro-war, pro-wall street, and pro-off shoring candidates in the history of the Democratic Party," Miller said. "The candidate who ran against special interests is endorsing the candidate who embodies special interests."

Trump himself tweeted about Sanders' move in advance. He was not impressed.

Starting in Iowa and New Hampshire, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has brought you every key moment in the 2016 presidential race. A team of AJC journalists will be at this month’s Republican and Democratic national conventions, continuing to provide that deep coverage.

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