Bernie Sanders, who galvanized young Americans during this year's Democratic primary race, said Wednesday that he is ready to work with president-elect Donald Trump if he wants to "improve the lives of working families."

"Donald Trump tapped into the anger of a declining middle class that is sick and tired of establishment economics, establishment politics and the establishment media," the Vermont senator said in a statement following the Republican billionaire's surprise victory, which has sent shockwaves through the United States and around the world.

Source: b'Sanders came closest to being the Democratic candidate | Source :Reuters'

"To the degree that Mr Trump is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families in this country, I and other progressives are prepared to work with him," added Sanders, the left-leaning independent who called for a political revolution during his surprisingly strong but ultimately failed populist primary challenge to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

"To the degree that he pursues racist, sexist, xenophobic and anti-environment policies, we will vigorously oppose him," he said.

Source: b'Sanders had opposed Trump throughout | Source: Reuters'

Like Sanders -- who denounced what he called the corrupt influence of the country's wealthy elites on politics, and advocated free public college education and universal health care -- Trump honed a populist appeal to Americans who feel left behind by economic globalization and mounting inequity.

Unlike Sanders, however, Trump proposes slashing taxes for the wealthiest Americans, and has said that schemes to avoid paying millions of dollars in personal income tax proves he is "smart."

After his primary loss, Sanders called on his supporters to rally behind Clinton, campaigning against Trump, whom he called a "danger" and a "demagogue."