Michael Moore attends the 12-12-12 screening at Ziegfeld Theater in New York City on Nov. 8, 2013
Craig Barritt—Getty Images
By Gabrielle Olya / People
January 20, 2015

Michael Moore caused a stir on Sunday when he Tweeted his negative opinion of snipers, seemingly in response to the release of American Sniper.

In a Facebook post later that day, the director, 60, defended his statements about snipers – but also attempted to distance the Tweets from the the Oscar-nominated film about real-life Navy SEAL Chris Kyle.

“Lots of talk about snipers this weekend (the holiday weekend of a great man, killed by a sniper), so I thought I’d weigh in with what I was raised to believe about snipers,” Moore wrote in his post. “My dad was in the First Marine Division in the South Pacific in World War II. His brother, my uncle, Lawrence Moore, was an Army paratrooper and was killed by a Japanese sniper 70 years ago next month.”

He explained that his views were passed down to him by his father.

“My dad always said, ‘Snipers are cowards. They don’t believe in a fair fight. Like someone coming up from behind you and coldcocking you. Just isn’t right. It’s cowardly to shoot a person in the back. Only a coward will shoot someone who can’t shoot back.’ ”

“I don’t think most Americans think of snipers as heroes,” he added.

Despite his critical take on the topic, Moore did have some positive things to say about Bradley Cooper‘s film, which broke box office records this weekend.

“Awesome performance from Bradley Cooper,” he wrote. “One of the best of the year. Great editing. Costumes, hair, makeup superb!”

However, he had less kind words for director Clint Eastwood.

“Too bad Clint gets Vietnam and Iraq confused in his storytelling,” said Moore. “And that he has his characters calling Iraqis ‘savages’ throughout the film.”

He does end his review on a positive note, though.

“There is also anti-war sentiment expressed in the movie. And there’s a touching ending,” he posted. “Also, best movie trailer and TV ads of the year.”

This article originally appeared on PEOPLE.com

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