No, they certainly did not.

Courtesy of Foreign Policy:

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan has acknowledged having failed to act more vigorously to shield State Department staffers from retaliation by the Trump administration for their perceived political views. But Sullivan said that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lacked the authority to fire a top Trump political appointee accused of inflicting, or abetting, the alleged harassment.

Speaking in a town hall meeting on Aug. 29 with staffers from the State Department’s Bureau of International Organization Affairs, Sullivan and David Hale, the undersecretary of state for political affairs and the third-ranking official in the department, acknowledged shortcomings in their response and pledged to make amends for staffers whose careers were upended in a long-running controversy that triggered an investigation by the department’s inspector general. They also pledged to exercise greater personal oversight over the bureau’s work.

“I will be the first to admit the failure on my part to have done more to address the situation,” Sullivan told the gathering, according to an account of the meeting relayed to Foreign Policy.

Hale encouraged staffers whose careers were damaged as a result of political retaliation to come to him to seek some sort of professional remedy or, if they preferred, to pursue a formal grievance against the department.

“I’d like to help; I’d also like people to know they can come to me,” Hale said. He pledged to take their case to the undersecretary of state for management, the director general, or human resources “to make amends.”

“There’s absolutely no doubt that what was going on was completely unacceptable,” Hale said. “Misconduct is a soft word, frankly, to use for what has occurred.”

Just think about this for one moment. 

This is the head of an American government agency essentially apologizing for not doing more to protect his subordinates from attacks that came from the president of the United States. 

Never, and I mean never, have we seen anything like this before. 

And just in case you thought the abuse was over, it is not. 

You can turn yourself into a pretzel looking for ways to defend this wannabe dictator but you might as well give up because there is simply no way to defend this type of behavior.