President Barack Obama is ready to make it official. With Hillary Clinton close to securing the Democratic nomination for president, Obama is on the verge of formally endorsing his former secretary of state and starting to aggressively make the case against Republican Donald Trump, the AP reports. White House officials say the announcement could come within days, although not before Democrats in New Jersey, California, and four other states vote Tuesday in contests expected to solidify Clinton's claim. The timeline is likely to hold regardless of how Clinton rival Sen. Bernie Sanders reacts to the Tuesday outcome, the White House said Monday.
Obama called Sanders on Sunday to discuss next steps, according to a Democrat familiar with the call. The Democrat spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss the private conversation, and would not reveal any details about it. White House and Clinton campaign aides have been discussing the sequencing of the long-expected announcement, and Obama's schedule has several possible opportunities for maximizing the impact. On Wednesday, he's due in New York City to address donors at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Clinton's home state. He'll also tape an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, a favorite with the coveted young demographic, for the show set to air Thursday night. The news will likely be followed by a first joint appearance before long. (Clinton expects Sanders to get out of the race after Tuesday.)