Tillerson cuts Obama-era office to oversee foreign sanctions — as White House misses Russia deadline
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has eliminated an office created by Hillary Clinton that coordinates foreign sanctions policy.
Former diplomats and congressional sources said Tillerson had eliminated the office of the Coordinator for Sanctions Policy as part of State Department overhaul, reported Foreign Policy.
The coordinator’s duties will now be overseen by the Policy Planning Office, which had not previously controlled programs or initiatives within the State Department.
Clinton, a secretary of state in the Obama administration, set up the office to coordinate sanctions with the Treasury Department across both Cabinet agencies.
Lawmakers criticized the Trump administration Wednesday for missing an Oct. 1 deadline to implement new sanctions imposed by Congress against Russia for election interference.
The delay “calls into question the Trump administration’s commitment to the sanctions bill,” according to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD).
However, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) — who has publicly feuded with President Donald Trump all month — said Thursday that the White House was working with the State Department to identify which Russian intelligence and defense agencies should face sanctions.