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AP Reporter Mocks State Dept Sanction Strategy

Matt Lee: 'That may be one reason why you never get what you're looking for'

• June 24, 2014 3:25 pm

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AP reporter Matt Lee mocked the State Department's sanction strategy during a press briefing Tuesday. When State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf refused to publicly reveal the administration's plans for sanctions on Russia, Lee retorted, "That may be one reason why you never get what you're looking for from these people."

Lee was questioning Harf about whether sanctions imposed on Russia after the annexation of Crimea will remain as long as Russia is in Crimea.

"We generally don't outline what people need to do specifically to get rid of sanctions publicly," Harf replied.

"That may be one reason why you never get what you're looking for from these people, you don't tell them what they have to do, so they're left to guess," Lee shot back.

"I think privately we've been very clear," Harf insisted, "it just doesn't make sense to outline that publicly."

While Lee tried to interrupt with protests, Harf continued, "Because giving the world insight into your sanction strategy, part of how sanctions are imposed and how they're effective is if people don't know they're coming and don't know when they'll come off. That's why we don't make sanctions public or the names public before we impose them. And we don't tell people when they're going to come off necessarily."