WASHINGTON: Thwarted presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders refused on Thursday (Friday in Manila) to bow out before the final Democratic primary next week, but said he would meet rival Hillary Clinton soon to foster party unity in the battle against Donald Trump. “I spoke briefly to Secretary Clinton on Tuesday night and I congratulated her on her very strong campaign,” said Sanders, sounding conciliatory after an hour-long White House meeting with President Barack Obama. “I look forward to meeting with her in the near future to see how we can work together to defeat Donald Trump and to create a government which represents all of us and not just the one percent.” The Vermont senator was at the White House for discussions on how to heal rifts in the Democratic Party after a testy primary campaign, and head united into the looming showdown with the presumptive Republican nominee. Obama was looking to play peace broker, coaxing Sanders to recognize Clinton as the party’s presidential nominee. The meeting itself was a very public show of respect for Sanders’ insurgent campaign.