Hillary Clinton slams Trump's Syria withdrawal: ‘This President is putting our national security at grave risk’

Former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGillibrand announces exploratory committee to run for president on Colbert Former PepsiCo CEO being considered for World Bank chief post: report Live coverage: Trump AG pick grilled on Mueller probe at confirmation hearing MORE said the White House’s announcement that it would begin to withdraw troops from Syria would put the U.S. at risk.

“Actions have consequences, and whether we’re in Syria or not, the people who want to harm us are there & at war. Isolationism is weakness. Empowering ISIS is dangerous. Playing into Russia & Iran’s hands is foolish. This President is putting our national security at grave risk,” Clinton, the 2016 Democratic nominee for president, tweeted. 

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Trump proclaimed Wednesday morning that ISIS had been beaten in Syria, accomplishing “my only reason for being there.”

Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerOn The Money: Trump says he won't declare emergency 'so fast' | Shutdown poised to become longest in history | Congress approves back pay for workers | More federal unions sue over shutdown Overnight Energy: House votes to reopen Interior, EPA | Dems question EPA over Wheeler confirmation prep | Virginia Dem backs Green New Deal House votes to reopen Interior, EPA as shutdown fight wages on MORE (R-Ill.), an Air Force veteran, responded by saying “This is simply not true.”

U.S. troops in Syria are currently assisting a coalition of rebel groups known as the Free Syrian Army, which are one of several forces fighting ISIS in Syria. While the terrorist group’s self-declared caliphate has crumbled, it remains active in planning attacks in the desert area straddling Iraq and Syria.

Russia praised the move, saying it opened the door “for a political solution.” 

The White House confirmed in a statement Wednesday after Trump’s tweet that the administration has “started returning United States troops home” but emphasized that coalition efforts in Syria would continue. It also reiterated Trump's claim that “the United States has defeated the territorial caliphate.” 

“We have started returning United States troops home as we transition to the next phase of this campaign," her statement said. "The United States and our allies stand ready to re-engage at all levels to defend American interests whenever necessary, and we will continue to work together to deny radical Islamist terrorists territory, funding, support, and any means of infiltrating our borders.”