Can you say “retaliation?”

Courtesy of TPM:

On Sunday, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who gave a bombshell testimony in the House impeachment investigation last month on President Donald Trump’s Ukraine scheme, will be removed from his post at the White House National Security Council.

“Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, who has testified under oath, is serving on the National Security Council currently,” CBS News’s “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan said during her interview with O’Brien. “Will he continue to work for you despite testifying against the President?”

“Well look, one of the things that I’ve talked about is that we’re streamlining the National Security Council,” O’Brien replied. “It got bloated to like 236 people up from 100 in the Bush administration under President Obama.”

The national security adviser said Vindman, who currently serves as the council’s Director for European Affairs, will be removed as a part of the White House’s “streamlining” efforts.

“My understanding is he’s–that Colonel Vindman is detailed from the Department of Defense,” O’Brien said. “So everyone who’s detailed at the NSC, people are going to start going back to their own departments and we’ll bring in new folks.”

When Brennan asked O’Brien to confirm that the decision is not retaliation against Vindman, whom Trump has baselessly accused of being a “Never Trumper,” the national security adviser’s response was that he personally had never retaliated against anyone.

“I never retaliated against anyone,” he said. “There- there will be a point for everybody who’s detailed there—that their time, that their detail will come to an end.”

Of course this is a retaliation against Vindman, who provided some of the most damaging evidence thus far to the impeachment inquiry, and it is also a message for any others working in the administration to keep their mouths shut. 

This is how Trump’s White House Mafia style tactics work. 

Bribe people for their cooperation, threaten them into silence, and if those don’t work have your minions harass them until they flee into the darkness.