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eyes on russia

Will Trump roll back sanctions on Russia? Reince Priebus won't say.

Reince Priebus refused to get specific Tuesday about President-elect Donald Trump's approach to Russian sanctions. Priebus, who is the incoming White House chief of staff, explained to the Morning Joe team that Trump's secretary of state nominee, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, "is not against sanctions" but "what he is against is setting up sanctions that aren't enforced."

The current sanctions are a consequence of Russia's aggressive annexation of eastern Ukraine and for Russia's role in shooting down the passenger plane Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in 2014. The sanctions were imposed with the goal of pressuring Russian President Vladimir Putin to change his policies toward the neighboring nation.

The New York Times' Nicholas Confessore sought to clarify with Priebus: "Is the president-elect's view that we should keep sanctions in place or not?"

"Here's what I would tell you," Priebus replied. "If you're going to have sanctions in place, they need to be enforced. That I can tell you for sure is something he believes in. As far as where that product goes next, you'll have to just wait and see." Jeva Lange