Lieu renews support for Trump's withdrawal of troops from Syria: There was no strategy for US to be there

Rep. Ted LieuTed W. LieuTed Lieu: Trump a 'racist ass' House Democrats request briefing on Epstein, Acosta Members to have little time to question Mueller MORE (D-Calif.), a frequent critic of President TrumpDonald John TrumpEsper sidesteps question on whether he aligns more with Mattis or Trump Warren embraces Thiel label: 'Good' As tensions escalate, US must intensify pressure on Iran and the IAEA MORE, renewed his support of President Trump’s plan to immediately withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, arguing there was no strategy there to begin with.

“One of the unfortunate things that has happened over the last several decades is Congress has ceded its power in declaring war to the executive branch and my view is both Democratic and Republican administrations had been deploying our troops in an unconstitutional manner without congressional authorization,” Lieu told actor Richard Schiff on “Rising" during an interview that aired on Tuesday.

“It’s one reason I support Donald Trump’s withdrawal of troops from Syria, there was no congressional authorization to have our troops there other than to go after terrorists,” he continued.

Lieu also emphasized that the U.S. still lacks a clear strategy in the war-torn country.

“If you ask just a simple question about Syria, who are we supporting? The Obama administration could not answer that, the Trump administration could not answer that,” the congressman said.

Lieu’s comments come after President Trump denied that he is backtracking on withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria.

President Trump on Monday attacked the New York Times for a “very inaccurate story on my intentions for Syria.” Last month, President Trump took both Democrats and Republicans alike by surprise when he announced that he would rapidly withdrawal more than 2,000 American troops from Syria, citing the U.S. had already “defeated” the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Trump didn’t specify which New York Times story he was referring to, but the paper reported on Sunday that national security adviser John Bolton “rolled back” Trump’s decision to “rapidly withdraw from Syria.”

During a trip to Israel and Turkey over the weekend, Bolton cast doubt on Trump's plans for an immediate withdrawal of troops, saying the "timetable flows from the policy decisions that we need to implement.”

Bolton also told reporters that the removing American forces from Syria is conditioned on defeating the remnants of ISIS in the region, and creating an agreement with Turkey to protect U.S.-allied Kurdish fighters.

—Tess Bonn