"I say to those critics, number one, that you can argue the exact reverse, that maybe I would have been elected President of the United States," Sanders told a crowd of about 1,000 people while being interviewed Wednesday night by Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne at George Washington University.
He added, of his impact on the election, "My campaign brought millions of people into the political process, the overwhelming majority of whom ended up voting for Hillary Clinton."
In channeling the thought process of those who voted for the Republican president-elect, Sanders said, "I am hurting... this guy says he is going to do something, that’s why I am giving him a shot."
He continued, "Ordinary people have got to know that the Democratic Party has the guts to stand up to some very powerful people whose greed is destroying the middle class ... if we can’t do that I don’t see much of a future for the Democratic Party."
Sanders slammed Trump for selecting alt-right figure Steve Bannon as his senior counselor. "I call on Mr. Trump to rescind the appointment he made of Mr. Bannon. A president of the United States should not have a racist by his side ... Unacceptable."
He added, "The majority of people in this nation are not racist, not sexist, not homophobes. If we stand together, Trump will not be able to pass policies that are racist."