The Department of Justice reporter for NPR referred to the date of Attorney General Barr’s summary of the Mueller report as “a date that will live … in infamy,” a phrase many associate with President Franklin Roosevelt’s 1941 speech following the Pearl Harbor attack.
NPR’s Carrie Johnson made the comment during the NPR Politics podcast last Wednesday while discussing Barr’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, during which he answered questions about the summary he gave of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
It was later revealed that Mueller wrote a letter to Barr and spoke to him on the phone, expressing his frustrations with what he described as a mischaracterization of his conclusions by Barr. Despite having presumably read the letter on March 27, Barr told Congress a week later he did not know what Mueller’s opinion was of his summary letter.
“March 24th, a date that will live in my brain in infamy, a Sunday, remember, Barr sends this four-page letter to Congress,” Johnson said during the podcast. Listeners soon drew connections to her phrase and the remarks made by President Roosevelt in 1941, the day after the Pearl Harbor attack, when he declared war on Japan.
“Yesterday, December 7th, 1941, a date which will live in infamy, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked,” President Roosevelt said.
Although both days are undoubtedly significant in the fabric of American history, some have criticized the perceived comparison as an exaggeration, since more than 2,000 people were killed during Pearl Harbor.
Johnson did not return a request for comment.