Sanders says he will work with Clinton to transform party (copy)

Presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders prepares to speak for a video to supporters at Polaris Mediaworks on Thursday June 16, 2016 in Burlington, VT. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post via AP, Pool)

Matt McClain

Bernie Sanders told the hosts of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that he will vote for Hillary Clinton for president, the latest in a series of tacit admissions that he has lost the primaries — and his latest refusal to actually concede.

"Yes," the senator from Vermont said when asked if he would vote for the former secretary of state. "I think the issue right here is I'm gonna do everything I can to defeat Donald Trump."

As he has said all month, Sanders is not ending his presidential campaign until the Democratic convention. He is spending Friday in New York, sitting for interviews and holding two rallies, one on behalf of a congressional candidate who endorsed him.

But Sanders' in-between status, as a candidate who has lost the nomination but not rolled up the carpet, has come to overwhelm the issues he'd prefer to talk about. In a round of interviews from MSNBC, CBS, and CNN, Sanders spent much of his time finding new ways to say that he was not ending his campaign until Clinton and the Democratic Party adopted parts of his platform.

"This is not a basketball game, where you win or you lose," he told CNN's Chris Cuomo. "I don't have the votes to become the Democratic nominee. You know that, I know that. We're both good at arithmetic."

On CBS, Sanders said of Clinton that he hadn't "heard her say the things that need to be said."

Asked what those are, he said she has yet to say how she would address the "crisis" in higher education costs, that she would raise the minimum wage to $15 or that she supports universal health care. (Clinton says a $15 minimum wage may only work for certain cities, that vocational education should be free but all public college should not, and that the Affordable Care Act should remain the basis for expanding coverage.)

Asked by CBS if he would endorse Clinton before the convention, Sanders was similarly noncommittal. "I would hope that would happen, or it may not happen," he said. When Cuomo asked a similar question, Sanders said that he couldn't "answer that until I know what Hillary Clinton is prepared to stand up for."

The day's bigger news — the United Kingdom's so-called "Brexit" from the European Union — took second billing in Sanders' interviews. On MSNBC, he did not say whether he agreed with the result.

"What worries me very much is the breaking down of international cooperation," Sanders said. "On the other hand, I think what this vote is about is an indication that the global economy is not working for everybody. It's not working in the United States for everybody and it's not working in the U.K. for everybody."

On CNN, Sanders added some more historical context, but largely adopted the "Leave" campaign's framing of what greater international cooperation had inflicted on the U.K. "If you look at the history of Europe in the 20th century you have a tremendous amount of bloodshed," he said. "You had people coming together, and saying: We've got to overcome this. We've got to have cooperation. That's a wonderful goal. On the other hand, in terms of the global economy, while it's great for CEOs to be running to China, they forget about the people who are losing their jobs."

David Weigel is a national political correspondent covering the 2016 election and ideological movements. John Wagner is a political reporter covering the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

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