Comey says Barr has 'lost most of his reputation' by acting like Trump's lawyer

Ex-FBI director says Barr's actions 'dishonorable'

By Brian Ries, CNN
Copyright 2019 CNN

Former FBI Director James Comey talks with CNN's Anderson Cooper during a town hall on May 9, 2019.

(CNN) - James Comey initially said he would give Attorney General William Barr the benefit of the doubt when it came to the Mueller report. But on Thursday at a CNN town hall the former FBI director said Barr has acted less than honorable in his public rollout of the special counsel's report.

Comey criticized the way Barr previewed the report with his summary to Congress and news conference. He added that Barr still "continues to talk as if he is the President's lawyer."

"That is not the attorney general's job. It's a political appointment by the President, but you lead an institution that belongs to the American people and not the President," Comey said.

He was then asked by CNN's Anderson Cooper, "You think he's behaving less than honorably?"

Comey replied, "I do."

He did praise Barr for leaving most of the report unredacted, but he said the job Barr is doing will ultimately hurt his legacy.

"He's an accomplished and very smart person who had nothing to lose in taking this job but his reputation, but I really -- it doesn't make me happy to say this, but I think he has lost most of his reputation with the way he has conducted himself," Comey said.

Asked why Barr was doing what he was doing, Comey said he didn't know.

"I can speculate, but I don't know. People are complicated, but it is deeply concerning," he said.

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