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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 TillersonWatchdog org: Tillerson used million in taxpayer funds to fly throughout US Trump administration rigging the game, and your retirement fund could be the loser Haley’s exit sends shockwaves through Washington 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 ClintonSanders thanks Iowa voters for giving momentum to progressive agenda Manchin wrestles with progressive backlash in West Virginia Arizona newspaper backs Democrat in dead heat Senate race 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 McCainMeghan McCain calls Russian attacks against her father the 'highest compliment' to her family Arizona Dems hope higher Latino turnout will help turn the state blue McConnell: GOP could try to repeal ObamaCare again after midterms MORE (R-Ariz.) and Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinGOP leaders hesitant to challenge Trump on Saudi Arabia Dem senator: Trump accepts Saudi denials because he is 'enamored' with dictators Saudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP 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 CorkerLawmakers point fingers at Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi's death Corker calls for 'collective' response from Western countries if Saudi crown prince found responsible in Khashoggi's death The Memo: Trump in a corner on Saudi Arabia 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.