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Bernie Sanders to return to Senate as independent

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Bernie Sanders is leaving the Democratic Party. Just hours after officially endorsing Hillary Clinton from the Democratic National Convention podium on Tuesday, Sanders then announced he would return to the Senate as an independent.

"I was elected an independent," Sanders told reporters.

The Democratic Party presidential runner-up has called himself a "Democratic Socialist" and has officially been without a party since 1979. While he often caucused with Democrats, Sanders remained independent until April of last year.

Sanders' independent status was brought up again this week during the DNC email leak. One email from former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz referenced Sanders' "outsider" status.

"Spoken like someone who has never been a member of the Democratic Party and has no understanding of what we do," Wasserman Schultz wrote.

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