"I was elected as an independent," Bernie Sanders said Tuesday

By Stephanie Petit
Updated July 28, 2016 10:35 AM

Bernie Sanders is returning to his status as an independent after losing the Democratic nomination for president to Hillary Clinton.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Vermont senator announced he will be leaving the Democratic Party when he returns to work in the U.S. Senate this week.

“I was elected as an independent; I ll stay two years more as an independent,” Sanders, 74, said at the Bloomberg Politics breakfast on Tuesday.

As an elected official in Congress, Sanders caucused with the Democrats, but considers himself an independent due to his far-left-leaning views.

When asked if Sanders considers himself a Democrat or an independent after the event, a campaign aide stated, “He ran for president as a Democrat but was elected to a six-year term in the Senate as an independent.”

Although he urged his supporters to vote for Clinton at the Democratic National Convention on Monday, Sanders expressed his discontent with the party after email leaks showed officials attempting to aid Clinton’s campaign in the party’s primary. He called for Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to step down.

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“I think she should resign, period, and I think we need a new chair who is going to lead us in a very different direction,” Sanders said on ABC’s This Week on Sunday.

She announced her resignation on Sunday. According to the Washington Post, Wasserman Schultz’s resignation takes effect at the end of the Democratic National Convention, which ends Thursday.

“As Party Chair, this week I will open and close the Convention and I will address our delegates about the stakes involved in this election not only for Democrats, but for all Americans,” she said. “We have planned a great and unified Convention this week and I hope and expect that the DNC team that has worked so hard to get us to this point will have the strong support of all Democrats in making sure this is the best convention we have ever had.”