Tillerson eliminates key State Department sanctions office: report

Tillerson eliminates key State Department sanctions office: report
© Getty Images

Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by AT&T - Supreme Court lets Texas abortion law stand Trump-era ban on travel to North Korea extended Want to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 ClintonGOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 Clinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks' Attorney charged in Durham investigation pleads not guilty 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 McCainBiden steps onto global stage with high-stakes UN speech Biden falters in pledge to strengthen US alliances 20 years after 9/11, US foreign policy still struggles for balance MORE (R-Ariz.) and Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinDems punch back over GOP holdup of Biden SBA nominee The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Government shutdown fears increase as leaders dig in Overnight Defense & National Security: War ends, but finger pointing continues 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 CorkerCheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP How leaving Afghanistan cancels our post-9/11 use of force The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  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.