Former FBI Director James Comey said Bill Barr has "lost most of his reputation" and his conduct as Attorney General has left him "deeply concerned" at a CNN town hall event Thursday night.
"I think he acted in a way that's less than honorable in the way he described it in writing and described it during a press conference, and continues to talk as if he's the president's lawyer. That is not the attorney general's job," Comey told CNN host Anderson Cooper.
"It doesn't make me happy to say this, but I think he has lost most of his reputation with the way he's conducted himself," Comey lamented.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: What do you think of the way Attorney General Barr has behaved? Because you had talked earlier, I think, right when -- before the summary came out or right after the summary came out that you needed to give him the benefit of the doubt.
JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: Yeah, and I said that because I think his career had earned that. And so I tried to withhold judgment. He did a very good thing in offering transparency. Most of the report is unredacted, so we could see it.
And then I think he acted in a way that's less than honorable in the way he described it in writing and described it during a press conference, and continues to talk as if he's 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.
COOPER: You think he's behaving less than honorably?
COMEY: I do. Yeah, look, I'm sorry to...
He's an accomplished and very smart person and 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's conducted himself.
COOPER: Do you know why he's doing it?
COMEY: I don't. I can speculate, but I don't know. People are complicated, but it is deeply concerning.
COOPER: The -- Attorney General Barr said to Congress the letter is a bit snitty, talking about the letter that Mueller had written him with his concerns about the way Barr had portrayed the report. He said the letter is a bit snitty, and I think it was written by one of his staff people. You know Bob Mueller. Would he sign off on some letter that a staffer had written that he did not 100 percent agree with?
COMEY: No. To the extent the attorney general is suggesting that Bob Mueller is a captive of his "snitty" staff...
... it's inconsistent with everything everybody knows about Director Mueller. And what's interesting is Bill Barr knows Bob Mueller better than most people. He knows better than to say that.