Former FBI official praises Barr for 'professional' press conference

A former FBI official is praising Attorney General William BarrBill BarrMeadows hires former deputy AG to represent him in Jan. 6 probe: report Why it's time for conservatives to accept the 2020 election results and move on Bannon's subpoena snub sets up big decision for Biden DOJ MORE for his press conference before releasing special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE’s report.

“I wanted to commend AG Barr on his professional press conference,” Jeff Danik, now a manager member at consultant group Danik Solutions, told Hill.TV’s Buck Sexton during an interview on Thursday.

“This is a good indication that an adult was in the room today on the press conference,” Danik added.

Barr held a press conference Thursday morning before releasing the report to Congress. In his remarks, he repeatedly defended President TrumpDonald TrumpHarris stumps for McAuliffe in Virginia On The Money — Sussing out what Sinema wants Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — The Facebook Oversight Board is not pleased MORE and explained why he did not find obstruction of justice based on Mueller's findings. Barr also emphasized that it was important to consider the "context" of Trump's actions, saying the president faced an “unprecedented situation” during the investigation. 

Barr faced heavy criticism for his remarks at the press conference. Democrats said Barr acted more like a defense lawyer for the president than the nation's attorney general.

“Barr is acting more like Trump’s defense attorney than the nation's Attorney General,” Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHarris stumps for McAuliffe in Virginia Biden, Harris mark 10th anniversary of MLK memorial Watch live: Biden, Harris deliver remarks at MLK Jr. Memorial anniversary MORE (D-Calif.) tweeted following the news conference.

Top Democrats House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrats scramble to reach deal on taxes On The Money — Sussing out what Sinema wants Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Key CDC panel backs Moderna, J&J boosters MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerSchumer endorses democratic socialist India Walton in Buffalo mayor's race Guns Down America's leader says Biden 'has simply not done enough' on gun control The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Altria - Manchin heatedly dismisses rumors of leaving Democratic Party MORE (D-N.Y) also took issue with Barr’s characterization of the report.

"As we continue to review the report, one thing is clear: Attorney General Barr presented a conclusion that the president did not obstruct justice while Mueller's report appears to undercut that finding," they said in a joint statement on Thursday.

—Tess Bonn