Tucker Carlson changes his tune after echoing Kremlin talking points, says Putin 'is to blame' for the Ukraine invasion and 'what Russia has done is awful'

Tucker Carlson speaks on stage in Hungary
Fox News opinion host Tucker CarlsonJanos Kummer/Getty Images
  • Fox News host Tucker Carlson sounded a more somber note on Russian President Vladimir Putin.

  • In his first show after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, Carlson's tone cooled off.

  • "He is to blame for what we're seeing tonight," Carlson said of Putin.

After echoing Kremlin talking points Fox News host Tucker Carlson changed gears Thursday night and expressed a more somber tone on Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"He is to blame for what we're seeing tonight," Carlson said of the dictator close to the outset of his show.

"Again, what Russia has done is awful, but we can make it worse," the primetime host said at another point in the show.

Carlson did not mention one of his previous monologues being translated into Russian subtitles and subsequently used as pro-war propaganda, which came from RT, a Russian state-owned TV network.

Fox News has been deploying "special coverage" on the invasion of Ukraine ever since late Wednesday night when host Greg Gutfeld's 11 p.m. show was bumped from the lineup.

Carlson was not able to react to the major developments on Russia's assault on Wednesday, with his top-viewed program at the network falling at 8 p.m. EST.

Previously, Carlson's approach to the Russia-Ukraine conflict has focused on what he's described as an outsized obsession on the American political left with Putin.

"Democrats want you to hate Putin, anything less is treason," Carlson said on Tuesday night's show.

Carlson has also dismissed Ukraine's concerns over being invaded and the ongoing separatist violence the country has seen since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014.

"You can't say it enough, Ukraine is not a democracy," Carlson said on the same Tuesday show.

The Fox host has also called Ukraine "a colony with a puppet regime" and "essentially managed by the State Department."

Early on Thursday morning, Putin announced a "special military operation" in Ukraine, shortly after an attack began, with explosions heard in multiple cities across Ukraine.

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