Frequent Trump critic Ted Lieu applauds troop pullout from Syria

Democratic Rep. Ted LieuTed W. LieuOvernight Defense: Mattis downplays Afghanistan papers | 'We probably weren't that good at' nation building | Judiciary panel approves two impeachment articles | Stage set for House vote next week Democrats approve two articles of impeachment against Trump in Judiciary vote Ted Lieu undergoes surgery following chest pain MORE (Calif.), a frequent critic of President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Trump scramble to rack up accomplishments gives conservatives heartburn Seven years after Sandy Hook, the politics of guns has changed MORE, applauded the president's decision on Wednesday to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria.

"I applaud the decision by to withdraw US troops from Syria," Lieu tweeted several hours after the official White House announcement emerged.

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"Neither the Obama Administration nor the Trump Administration had a strategy," Lieu added. "Neither Administration could articulate why we were in Syria, what the end state would be, and how we would achieve it."

Lieu's tweet came in response to a CNN report that Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioWhite House makes push for paid family leave and child care reform Tom Hanks weighs in on primary: 'Anybody can become president' GOP senator blocks bill aimed at preventing Russia election meddling MORE (R-Fla.) had called the decision a "great disservice" to the U.S.

Multiple top Republicans, including Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump: 'I wouldn't mind' a long Senate impeachment process Poll finds Graham with just 2-point lead on Democratic challenger Hill editor-in-chief calls IG report 'a game-changer' MORE (R-S.C.), met the U.S. withdrawal from Syria with criticism, with Graham calling it an "Obama-like mistake." 

The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post reported earlier in the day that Trump is planning to remove 2,000 troops from northern Syria immediately.

Trump in a tweet Wednesday said the U.S. has "defeated" the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Syria.  

The White House in a statement said that the administration has "started returning United States troops home," though U.S. efforts in the region will continue.

"We have started returning United States troops home as we transition to the next phase of this campaign," the 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."