President Trump has officially named Marshall Billingslea as his special envoy for arms control, a role where he will be expected to spearhead efforts to reach a nuclear agreement with Russia and China, the Hill reported.
Billingslea comes from the Treasury Department, where he ran the Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes.
"President Trump has charged this administration with beginning a new chapter by seeking a new era of arms control that moves beyond the bilateral treaties of the past," a statement from the State Department read. "The appointment of Marshall Billingslea reaffirms the commitment to that mission."
The Obama administration originally hammered out the agreement, which limits the number of nuclear warheads both the United States and Russia can possess to 1,550 each.
The agreement, which is set to expire on Feb. 5, 2021, also permits the United States and Russia to conduct 18 annual on-site inspections of facilities operated by the other country.
It also has an option to be extended by another five years.
Some have questioned Billingslea's appointment based on what they believe to be a poor track record of human rights violations.
In 2002 and 2003, Billingslea was in charge of conditions for detainees at Guantanamo Bay.
The interrogation techniques he allowed were later condemned by Congress as torture.
“Mr. Billinsglea has a troubled history with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee,” Sen. Bob Menendez said in a statement Friday.
“Following his unsuccessful nomination for the State Department’s top human rights post, serious questions remain concerning whether he was forthright and truthful when testifying before the committee about his role in the detainee torture scandal during the Bush administration.”
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