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*-- Bernie Sanders endorses Hillary Clinton, ending his presidential campaign --*

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. - Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders officially endorsed Hillary Clinton, his Democratic rival for the presidential nomination, ending what began as a long-shot campaign that exploded into a liberal "political revolution."

The announcement came Tuesday in Portsmouth, N.H., a state Sanders won handily in the primary, and which will be a battleground in Clinton's general election effort against Republican Donald Trump.

"Secretary Clinton goes into the convention with 389 more pledged delegates than we have, and a lot more superdelegates," Sanders said, with a smiling Clinton at his side. "Secretary Clinton has won the Democratic nominating process and I congratulate her for that. She will be the 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.

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

Sanders had, in effect, lost the nomination contest many weeks ago and, before the California primary, multiple media outlets reported Clinton had gained the number of delegates needed to clinch the nomination, thanks to undecided superdelegates coming to her side.

Still, the liberal firebrand did not relent, pledging to campaign until all the votes were cast, and even after that.

After a closed-door White House meeting with President Barack Obama, a defiant Sanders said he was still not dropping out of the race and, standing in front of the White House portico, told reporters he would continue campaigning until the Democratic convention in Cleveland.

That changed Tuesday.

"Together we have begun a political revolution to transform America and that revolution continues. Together we will continue to fight for a government which represents all of us and not just the 1 percent," Sanders said. "Our campaign won the primaries and caucuses in 22 states and when the roll call at the Democratic national convention was announced it will show we won almost 1,900 delegates, far more than almost anyone thought we could win."


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