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Frequent Trump critic Ted Lieu applauds troop pullout from Syria

Democratic Rep. Ted LieuTed W. LieuDemocrats, activists blast Trump DOJ effort to get journalists' phone records Lawmakers praise Biden for expected recognition of Armenian Genocide Overnight Defense: Top Pentagon nominee advances after Harris casts tie-breaker | Air Force general charged with sexual assault first to face court-martial | House passes bill to limit Saudi arms sales MORE (Calif.), a frequent critic of President TrumpDonald TrumpCaitlyn Jenner says election was not 'stolen,' calls Biden 'our president' Overnight Health Care: FDA authorizes Pfizer vaccine for adolescents | Biden administration reverses limits on LGBTQ health protections Overnight Defense: US fires 30 warning shots at Iranian boats | Kabul attack heightens fears of Afghan women's fates | Democratic Party leaders push Biden on rejoining Iran deal 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 RubioDemocrats cool on Crist's latest bid for Florida governor Tim Scott sparks buzz in crowded field of White House hopefuls The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  MORE (R-Fla.) had called the decision a "great disservice" to the U.S.

Multiple top Republicans, including Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamHouse conservatives take aim at Schumer-led bipartisan China bill There will be no new immigration law under Biden, unless he changes course McConnell safe in power, despite Trump's wrath 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."