President Barack Obama will meet Wednesday morning with Sen. Bernie Sanders in a private sitdown in the Oval Office.
The White House announced Tuesday evening that Obama will meet with Sanders after receiving his morning briefing and meeting with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Vice President Biden.
“Afterward, the President will meet with Senator Bernie Sanders. This meeting in the Oval Office is closed press,” the White House stated.
After the Sanders chat, Obama will immediately go to lunch with Biden.
Sanders’ proximity to Obama, who has yet to endorse in the Democratic primary race, has clearly gotten into the heads of Hillary Clinton and her campaign officials.
That concern became visible about two weeks ago, ahead of the last formal Democratic debate in South Carolina, when Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and a spokesman held a press call to attack Sanders for having different policies on some issues than Obama.
Since then, Clinton has consistently praised Obama, saying in Monday night’s CNN town hall in Iowa that her close working relationship with the president developed into a “real friendship.”
Though Obama recently praised Clinton as “wicked smart,” Sanders’ meeting with the president could still change the nature of the race.
Republican frontrunner Donald Trump mocked Clinton’s sucking up to Obama, saying at a rally in Tulsa that Clinton is trying to get Obama to intervene in the FBI investigation into her private email use, which could result in an indictment.
“She wants to stay out of the clink, that’s why,” Trump said. “Every single thing, oh she thinks the president is wonderful. She never thought the president was wonderful before. She couldn’t stand him, and frankly he couldn’t stand her…She wants to make it through this thing, and he has the power of the presidency.”