The State Department’s biographical webpages for President Trump and Vice President Pence on Monday displayed premature ends to their terms in office, sending some corners of the internet into a frenzy. Some say it was a disgruntled employee while others are calling it a recurring glitch.
The timestamps kept being pushed back, with the one for Trump reading Jan. 11 at 7:49 p.m. before a message appeared on both pages stating the State Department site was “currently experiencing technical difficulties.”
The internet caught wind of the mishap quickly, with some Twitter users speculating a possible Trump resignation.
I don’t know what to make of this US State Department website that says Trump’s term ended Jan 11th at 7pm. Anyone??? It’s a legit dot gov site. https://t.co/dwKY1xJVVC
— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) January 11, 2021
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ordered an internal investigation into which disgruntled employee used the department’s closed content management system to make the changes, BuzzFeed News first reported citing two current diplomats. However, other reports have called it a glitch, citing that it’s occurred before.
The State Department did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.
The prank comes days after violent insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol fueled by Trump’s calls to overturn the presidential election. With the House expected to vote to impeach Trump a second time on Wednesday for inciting the violence that left five people dead, some close to the president have said he’s considered preemptively pardoning himself.
Meanwhile, federal law enforcement agencies are left to hold those who stormed the Capitol accountable. Technology, particularly facial recognition, is playing a key role in identifying and arresting suspects from the mob who entered and defaced the Capitol building.