With President Donald Trump exiled from social media and laying low since the Capitol Hill riot, the State Department’s official website puzzlingly declared that Trump’s term in office came to an end on January 11.
A biography page apparently created on Monday on the State Department’s official website, has a solitary line of text that reads “Donald J. Trump’s term ended on 2021-01-11 19:48:39.” The page was likely created around 3pm local time, according to Archive.org, while a Google cache of the page shows that it was edited in December, with the message then putting Trump’s term ending on the 17th of that month.
A similar change was made to Vice President Mike Pence’s biography.
The meaning of the text is unclear, but it comes at a time of uncertainty for Trump, nearly a week after his supporters barged into the US Capitol after he encouraged them to protest outside the building. Banned from every major social media platform, castigated in the media, facing impeachment by Democrats and losing Republican allies, Trump has suffered pushback on all sides after the riot left five people dead, including one unarmed protester shot by police and one police officer allegedly clubbed with a fire extinguisher by a rioter.
Commenters and pundits online speculated whether the State Department’s site had been “hacked,” or whether a staffer in the department was privy to something the public wasn’t.
Whatever your opinion on Trump, the State Department does not have the power to decide who the president is. However, the State Department does have decades of experience orchestrating coups in other countries. Is that what’s happening here? https://t.co/OpN74sqwE9
— Dan Cohen (@dancohen3000) January 11, 2021
What is happening? Did he resign? Is the State Department letting us know they’re ousting him?? pic.twitter.com/HdeP5pNdUR
— 𝕸𝖔𝖙𝖍𝖊𝖗 𝕸𝖊𝖗𝖗𝖎𝖈𝖐 🦂 (@merrickdeville) January 11, 2021
BuzzFeed News claimed that the text was the work of a “disgruntled staffer,” though a source told the Washington Examiner that the department was still “working on figuring out what happened.”
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