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Briahna Joy Gray interviews Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at the 2019 SXSW Conference in Austin, Texas. Photo: Jim Bennett/WireImage

The Bernie Sanders campaign's former press secretary Briahna Joy Gray told the Atlantic in an interview Thursday that Joe Biden has not done enough to secure her endorsement, or the votes of many progressive Democrats.

Why it matters: Sanders, who endorsed Biden five days after suspending his own campaign, has said that it would be "irresponsible" for his supporters not to back the Democratic candidate over President Trump in November.

The big picture: Gray, like other influential Sanders surrogates, stressed that progressives still have leverage to move Biden to the left until the primary season officially ends. She said her vote is "contingent on whether Joe Biden supports Medicare for All, canceling student-loan debt, canceling medical debt, having a wealth tax."

What she's saying: Gray explained the thinking behind a tweet earlier this month in which she disagreed with Sanders' endorsement of Biden, telling The Atlantic that her endorsement would be neither "politically beneficial or, frankly, ethically appropriate."

  • Gray called it "frustrating" that leaders of the progressive movement are supporting establishment politics without gaining concessions on policy issues. "If these are in fact existential issues, then we need to behave that way, and not stop fighting," Gray said.
  • "Biden is still only the presumptive nominee, and not the actual nominee. There is still room to move his positions without actually jeopardizing the candidate in a general-election contest."
  • "Pushing Biden to the left makes him more electable. If he’s banking on securing independent voters, then he should be aware that a majority of independents are for Medicare for All, a wealth tax, a number of other so-called progressive policies that Biden has, up until this point, strongly resisted."

Gray disagreed with the notion that refusing to support Biden at this point will only strengthen Trump's chances in November:

  • "No matter what progressives do, we’re going to get framed as somehow responsible for any negative outcome," Gray said.
  • "The Democratic Party is telling us, it seems, that they’re more interested in shaming voters than actually putting forth the best nominee."

Go deeper: How top Sanders surrogates feel about his endorsement of Joe Biden

Go deeper

Sanders endorses ending filibuster to pass voting rights legislation

Bernie Sanders during a Democratic Party presidential debate in March. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Thursday agreed with former President Obama's proposal to eliminate the Senate filibuster in order to pass the Voting Rights Act.

Why it matters: Sanders rejected abolishing the filibuster during the third Democratic primary debate in September 2o19, suggesting that congressional Democrats could instead pass progressive policies by attaching them to budget reconciliation bills, which cannot be filibustered by the minority party, according to Senate rules.

Schumer vows to confirm Breyer replacement "with all deliberate speed"

Chuck Schumer. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer responded Wednesday to reports that Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will retire, commending his time on the bench and promising to confirm President Biden's nominated replacement "with all deliberate speed."

Why it matters: The opportunity to appoint a new Supreme Court justice will be one of the longest-lasting pieces of Biden's legacy and could energize Democrats ahead of the midterms.

33 mins ago - World

Scoop: Israel's "top priority" mission to discredit UN probe

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett addresses the UN. Photo: John Minchillo/Pool via Getty

Israel is planning a campaign to discredit a UN commission formed to investigate the violence in Gaza last May and the root causes of the protracted conflict in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, according to an Israeli Foreign Ministry cable seen by Axios.

Why it matters: Israeli officials say they are highly concerned that the commission’s report will refer to Israel as an "Apartheid state" and that its findings could damage Israel's reputation, particularly among progressives in the West. The report is expected in June.