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 ClintonNevada Senate passes bill that would give Electoral College votes to winner of national popular vote 2020 Dems break political taboos by endorsing litmus tests Iowa Democrats brace for caucus turnout surge 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 KinzingerOvernight Defense: Trump officials say efforts to deter Iran are working | Trump taps new Air Force secretary | House panel passes defense bill that limits border wall funds Trump taps new Air Force secretary The Hill's 12:30 Report: Alabama abortion bill revives national debate 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.”