Tillerson eliminates key State Department sanctions office: report

Tillerson eliminates key State Department sanctions office: report
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Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonOvernight Defense: Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital | Mattis, Tillerson reportedly opposed move | Pentagon admits 2,000 US troops are in Syria | Trump calls on Saudis to 'immediately' lift Yemen blockade Trump has yet to name ambassadors to key nations in Mideast Mattis, Tillerson warned Trump of security concerns in Israel embassy move MORE has eliminated a key office within the State Department that coordinates foreign sanctions policy, according to a new report.

Former diplomats and congressional sources told Foreign Policy that Tillerson has eliminated the office of the Coordinator for Sanctions Policy as part of his plan to revamp the State Department.

The Policy Planning Office, which previously did not control programs or initiatives at State, will now be responsible for the work done by the Coordinator of Sanctions Policy Office, according to Foreign Policy.

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The magazine reports there are mixed reactions to the elimination of the office.

Daniel Fried, who previously served as the coordinator for sanctions policy, said that “you can’t read into that a lack of commitment to sanctions.”

“It’s not as if [the administration] is gutting sanctions altogether,” Fried told Foreign Policy.

The office was created under former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGrassley blasts Democrats over unwillingness to probe Clinton GOP lawmakers cite new allegations of political bias in FBI Top intel Dem: Trump Jr. refused to answer questions about Trump Tower discussions with father MORE to work with the Treasury Department to coordinate sanctions across multiple departments in both agencies.

A former State Department official told Foreign Policy that the move is akin to the State Department saying “we’re just going back to the phone where there’s no clear coordination.”

The move comes after President Trump’s administration missed an Oct. 1 deadline on implementing new sanctions against Russia.

Sens. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainGOP strategist donates to Alabama Democrat Meghan McCain knocks Bannon: 'Who the hell are you' to criticize Romney? Dems demand Tillerson end State hiring freeze, consult with Congress MORE (R-Ariz.) and Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinDems demand Tillerson end State hiring freeze, consult with Congress Former New Mexico gov: Trump's foreign policy is getting 'criticized by everybody' Dems put hold on McFarland nomination over contradictory testimony: report MORE (D-Md.) slammed the Trump administration for missing the deadline, saying the delay “calls into question the Trump administration’s commitment to the sanctions bill.”

Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerFormer Dem Tenn. gov to launch Senate bid: report McConnell 'almost certain' GOP will pass tax reform Former New Mexico gov: Trump's foreign policy is getting 'criticized by everybody' MORE (R-Tenn.) said on Thursday the Trump administration is moving forward with the sanctions, with the State Department soon working to identify entities in the Russian intelligence and defense sectors in line for the sanctions.