Sen. Bernie Sanders dismissed Sunday a campaign attempting to persuade the influential Vermont lawmaker to establish his own left-wing political party reflecting his supporters who have rejected the ideals of Republicans and Democrats.

The initiative, called Draft Bernie for a People's Party, was conceived Thursday by supporters and former staffers of Sanders. It had received over 14,400 signatures nearly a week later. The campaign's official website contained a two-tier plan to challenge both Democrats and Republicans in districts throughout the country by 2018 and a presidential campaign in 2020, based on a "21st-century progressive national consensus." Sanders responded, however, by saying he would prefer his supporters focus on revising the Democratic Party.

"Right now I am working to bring fundamental reform to the Democratic Party, to open the doors of the Democratic Party to working people, to lower-income people, to young people who have not felt welcome in the embrace of the Democratic Party, " Sanders said in an interview with NBC News' Meet the Press.

Sanders is one of only two independents in Congress and the only one who identifies politically as a democratic socialist. He unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic Party's nomination in the 2016 presidential race, but lost to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Clinton was ultimately defeated by President Donald Trump who, like Sanders, portrayed himself as an anti-establishment candidate. While Sanders had initially expressed cautious support for Trump's pledge to "drain the swamp" by focusing on citizens' needs rather than Washington and Wall Street, he has since opposed many of Trump's political decisions and called the president a "pathological liar" for repeating unverified claims.

"Remember when Trump said he was going to drain the swamp. Well, the swamp has now overrun Trump's administration and Washington, D.C.," Sanders tweeted Wednesday.

Sanders has repeatedly called for a "transformation" within the Democratic Party. Certain influential Democratic figures such as Keith Ellison have asked for Sanders' support in convincing his followers to back the Democratic Party as it reorganizes from an unanticipated electoral defeat in November. A number of Democratic lawmakers reportedly asked Sanders Tuesday to direct his supporters' indignation toward Trump and not Democrats.

Sanders' main criticism of the Democratic Party is that it has shed its progressive roots and become too focused on wealthy, elite sectors of society. In an interview with NPR last month, Sanders accused the Democratic National Convention of getting "hooked on big money" and identified their lack of outreach to rural, working-class areas as a primary factor that led to Clinton's loss to Trump.