"Give it up, Mr. President — for your sake and the nation's."
In a blunt editorial, Rupert Murdoch's New York Post, a tabloid that promoted Donald Trump long before he went into politics, told the president to end his attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
The Monday front page showed a downcast president and the all-caps headline "Stop the Insanity." The publication's website also highlighted the editorial, written by the Post's editorial board, featuring it at the top of the homepage.
"Mr. President, it's time to end this dark charade," began the editorial.
It blasted Trump's suggestion that the House and Senate should try to disrupt the tallying of Electoral College votes Jan. 6. It also ridiculed Sidney Powell, a former lawyer for the Trump campaign who pushed conspiracy theories about a Venezuelan plot to rig voting machines in the United States. And it said that a suggestion by Michael Flynn, the former lieutenant general who served as Trump's first national security adviser, to impose martial law was "tantamount to treason."
"You have tweeted that, as long as Republicans have 'courage,' they can overturn the results and give you four more years in office," the Post editorial said.
"In other words," it continued, "you're cheering for an undemocratic coup."
The Post helped make Trump a New York celebrity decades ago and was an early backer of his political ambitions, endorsing him in the Republican primary before the 2016 election.
Since Election Day, however, the tone has changed.
The conservative editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, another paper controlled by Murdoch's News Corp., has taken a similar line.
"President Trump accomplished a great deal in four years, but as he leaves office he can't seem to help reminding Americans why they denied him a second term," began a Dec. 20 editorial headlined "Trump's Bad Exit."
In its front-page attack Monday, the Post's editorial board, run by its longtime editor, Mark Q. Cunningham, appealed directly to Trump.
"Democrats will try to write you off as a one-term aberration and, frankly, you're helping them do it," the editorial continued. "The King Lear of Mar-a-Lago, ranting about the corruption of the world."
In conclusion, it said, "If you insist on spending your final days in office threatening to burn it all down, that will be how you are remembered. Not as a revolutionary, but as the anarchist holding the match."