Trump administration called on State Department staffers to remove sanctions from Russia in January

Trump administration called on State Department staffers to remove sanctions from Russia in January

The Trump administration wanted to remove Russian sanctions (Stock image)

Friday, June 2, 2017

The Trump administration called on State Department staffers to remove sanctions from Russia, immediately after Donald Trump took office, Yahoo News said.

The sanctions were first put in place under Barack Obama, after Russia's military intervened in Ukraine and were accused of interfering in the Presidential election.

Dan Fried, the former coordinator of sanctions policy said he had taken calls from officials who were concerned about lifting the sanctions and he was asked to stop it from happening.

He told Yahoo News: “There was serious consideration by the White House to unilaterally rescind the sanctions."

Fried, who retired in February, said he then asked lawmakers to codify the sanctions, as it would then mean they were harder to lift.

Tom Malinowski, the former assistant secretary for democracy, human rights and labour, also spoke to Congress about the issue at the time, however this was when he had just left the State Department.

The FBI are currently investigating any links between Trump's campaign and Russia.