Donald Trump is trying to take the National Security Council down with him

Richard Nixon famously had his “Saturday Night Massacre” during the Watergate scandal, in which he began ousting his own people in the hope that it might somehow save him from his own ouster. Now it appears Donald Trump is carrying out a firing spree of his own behind the scenes, in a remarkably ham fisted attempt at saving himself.

Trump has apparently decided that the National Security Council is his new enemy, and he’s ordered that several people be laid off there, according to a new report from Bloomberg. It’s not difficult to figure out why he’s doing this. Trump is in trouble because of his corrupt phone calls with world leaders, so he’s ousting as many people as possible who might have knowledge of those phone calls.

The trouble with this plan, however, is obvious enough. By laying off the people who have knowledge of his crimes, he’s taking their careers away, which could lead some of them to conclude that they have less to lose by coming forward and revealing what they know about Trump’s crimes.

If Donald Trump is trying to send a message here by punishing some of the people who could potentially come forward against him, it’s likely to have the opposite effect. Trump consistently misreads things when he’s in this situation. For instance, earlier today he tried to make an example out of Mitt Romney, in an attempt at scaring other Republican Senators into silence. But hours later, Susan Collins also came out against Trump. Trump’s instincts are failing him mightily.

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