Fox News’ Tucker Carlson made headlines this week before Russia attacked Ukraine, for what some took as “downplaying” the tension between Russia and Ukraine.

He opened his Tuesday show by reducing the impending attack to a “border dispute,” and asking viewers to think about why they really hate Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Very soon that hatred of Vladimir Putin could bring the United States into a conflict in eastern Europe,” Carlson said. “Before that happens it might be worth asking ourselves, since this is getting pretty serious, what is this really about?”

Last month, a clip for Carlson’s show went viral when he asked why it was seen as “disloyal to side with Russia, but loyal to side with Ukraine.” Carlson then went on to argue that neither country cared about the U.S.

Carlson’s comments have garnered criticism from both sides of the political spectrum, with some even calling him “one of the biggest cheerleaders for Russia.”

“In 35 seconds here, @TuckerCarlson basically said: ‘Putin isn’t your enemy. Your fellow American is,’ ” Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois tweeted. “This is beyond dangerous, to say the least.”

Following Russia’s attack on Ukraine on Thursday, Carlson backpedaled on the statements he had made earlier in the week.

“I don’t think anybody approves of what Putin did yesterday,” Carlson said on his Thursday show. “I certainly don’t.”

“The question is … how should the United States respond to what he has done?” he added. “Within minutes of the outbreak of the war last night the usual liars on television began leveraging this tragedy for partisan political gain … it’s contemptible. But we’re going to ignore that tonight and talk about what matters.”

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