The Wall Street Journal editorial board has called on Donald Trump to resign, in an abrupt severance of their previously accommodating position.
The paper, owned by Rupert Murdoch, has been more tolerant of the president than some of their rivals.
But on Thursday night they knifed him, telling him he needed to leave before he was impeached.
‘If Mr. Trump wants to avoid a second impeachment, his best path would be to take personal responsibility and resign,’ they wrote.
Donald Trump, pictured on Thursday night addressing the nation, should resign, the WSJ said
The WSJ editorial board on Thursday night published a damning indictment of Trump’s actions
‘This would be the cleanest solution since it would immediately turn presidential duties over to Mr. Pence.
‘And it would give Mr. Trump agency, a la Richard Nixon, over his own fate.’
‘It is best for everyone, himself included, if he goes away quietly,’ the paper’s team wrote.
Murdoch-owned press – Fox News, The Wall Street Journal and New York Post, among them – was initially supportive of the president, but have grown increasingly tired of his antics.
Fox News was the first to call Arizona for Joe Biden – a move which so enraged Trump he forced his son-in-law Jared Kushner to phone Murdoch directly and demand a retraction. Murdoch refused, and since then Trump has been urging his supporters to abandon Fox News and switch the the fringe stations Newsmax and OAN.
Thursday’s statement from the WSJ board, however, marks the most dramatic shift in the Murdoch stable’s approach so far.
Rupert Murdoch is pictured embracing Trump in May 2017 but has since turned on him
The authors said that Trump’s departure would stem the flood of White House resignations, which were imperiling the country.
Cabinet member Elaine Chao, the transportation secretary, announced her resignation on Thursday, saying she was ‘deeply troubled’ by the ‘entirely avoidable’ events at the Capitol building.
Former White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who still had an administration job as special envoy to Northern Ireland, told CNBC in an interview Thursday morning that he called Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday night to resign.
‘I can’t do it. I can’t stay,’ Mulvaney said in the interview.
‘Those who choose to stay, and I have talked with some of them, are choosing to stay because they’re worried the President might put someone worse in.’
Deputy National Security Advisor Matt Pottinger resigned on Wednesday night, as did Melania Trump’s spokesman, Stephanie Grisham.
‘We know an act of grace by Mr. Trump isn’t likely,’ the paper said.
‘In any case this week has probably finished him as a serious political figure.
‘He has cost Republicans the House, the White House, and now the Senate.
‘Worse, he has betrayed his loyal supporters by lying to them about the election and the ability of Congress and Mr. Pence to overturn it. He has refused to accept the basic bargain of democracy, which is to accept the result, win or lose.’
Murdoch and Trump are pictured together at his Scottish golf course in June 2016
The Australian media mogul and wife Jerry Hall visited the golf course at Trump’s invitation
The paper said they were not in favor of invoking the 25th Amendment, saying it would only pour fuel on the fire.
‘A Cabinet cabal ousting him would smack of a Beltway coup and give Mr. Trump more cause to play the political victim,’ they said.
They also said impeachment was not a good path to go down, arguing it would appear partisan and bitter, and not aid the country, arguing that ‘Democrats aren’t likely to behave responsibly or with restraint.’
The board conceded that impeachment would ‘send a message to future Presidents that Congress will protect itself from populists of all ideological stripes willing to stir up a mob and threaten the Capitol or its Members.’
But, they concluded, it was not a good idea.
‘Impeachment so late in the term won’t be easy or without rancor,’ they wrote.
‘It would further enrage Mr. Trump’s supporters in a way that won’t help Mr. Biden govern, much less heal partisan divisions.
‘It would pour political fuel on Wednesday’s dying embers.’
The paper concluded: ‘It is best for everyone, himself included, if he goes away quietly.’