Former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyFive memorable moments from Sarah Sanders at the White House Five memorable moments from Sarah Sanders at the White House Under Trump, our democracy is for sale MORE said he accepts that Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrTrump's Justice Department should change its tune on antitrust policy Schiff blasts DOJ over memo on withholding Trump tax returns Trump remarks deepen distrust with intelligence community MORE’s letter to Congress properly characterizes special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in 2016.

But Comey slammed President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump defends Stephanopolous interview Trump defends Stephanopolous interview Buttigieg on offers of foreign intel: 'Just call the FBI' MORE for not confronting Moscow for its effort to interfere in the election.

“Our executive branch is led by a commander in chief, and a response to an attack on the United States, which is what happened in 2016, requires fundamentally that the commander in chief understand it, recognize it and then direct the branch of government that he leads to anticipate it and prepare to stop it, or retaliate. Our fundamental problem is that I don’t see that our commander in chief acknowledges that it even happened,” Comey said at a Hewlett Foundation conference.

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“So I think we need to start there and ask why our president will not acknowledge what his intelligence community has found overwhelmingly, and I gather once we get the opportunity to see Bob Mueller’s work — I accept that Bill Barr’s letter accurately portrays it — that Bob Mueller found there was a massive effort to interfere in this election.”

Barr reported to Congress last month in a four-page summary that Mueller cleared the Trump campaign of any collusion, but failed reach a conclusion on if the president obstructed justice in any subsequent investigations into the allegations. Barr said he and Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinGOP group urges Republicans to speak out on obstruction claims against Trump in new ad GOP group urges Republicans to speak out on obstruction claims against Trump in new ad Judiciary Democrats announce series of hearings on Mueller report MORE declined to pursue obstruction charges against Trump after reviewing Mueller’s evidence.

Republicans and President Trump touted the report as vindication after the nearly two-year probe, but Democrats pounced on Barr’s obstruction conclusion, saying it should not be up to a Trump appointee to make such a call.

Reports also emerged that members of Mueller’s staff were frustrated with the summary, saying that the evidence they gathered regarding obstruction of justice is more significant than the four-page letter made it seem.

Comey also said that Barr would likely “be one of the rare Trump Cabinet members who will stand up for truth,” but said his recent claim that the FBI was “spying” on the Trump campaign in 2016 “makes it harder” to believe that. 

Comey has emerged as a vocal detractor of Trump’s since he was abruptly fired by the president in 2017.