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 TillersonUS steps up its game in Africa, a continent open for business Matt Drudge shares mock ‘Survivor’ cover suggesting more White House officials will leave this summer 'Daily Show' trolls Trump over Pruitt's resignation 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 ClintonHillary Clinton to Trump ahead of Putin summit: 'Do you know which team you play for?' 10 things we learned from Peter Strzok's congressional testimony Get ready for summit with no agenda and calculated risks 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 McCainRand Paul ‘concerned’ about Kavanaugh Senate Dems tell Trump: Don't meet with Putin one-on-one McConnell: Senate to confirm Kavanaugh by Oct. 1 MORE (R-Ariz.) and Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinSenate passes resolution honoring victims of Capital Gazette shooting Biden rallies Dem support for progressive Md. governor candidate Dem lawmakers join nationwide protests against Trump immigration policies 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 CorkerWhat Trump’s NATO defense plan would mean for the US Overnight Health Care: Watchdog finds Tom Price improperly used funds on flights | Ex-Novartis CEO sent drug pricing proposal to Cohen | HHS staffers depart after controversial social media posts HHS staffers depart after controversial social media posts: report 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.