This started getting attention on Twitter earlier today. A page on the State Department’s website, purporting to be a biography of President Trump, stated that his term ended today. The same thing appeared on a biography page for VP Pence:
A similar message is posted on Mike Pence’s biography page on the State Department website, stating “Michael R. Pence’s term ended 2021-01-11 19:44:22.” https://t.co/xApZCu4x82 pic.twitter.com/NDSlu9pyAK
— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) January 11, 2021
When people first noticed it, the time listed was still several hours in the future, making people wonder if this was some kind of accidental leak about something that was about to be announced. Others thought it could be a hack or perhaps just someone at the Department pulling a prank. According to Buzzfeed, this was in fact a stunt pulled by an employee at the State Department.
A disgruntled employee at the State Department changed the biographies of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to say their term was coming to an end on Monday — nine days before President-elect Joe Biden is to be sworn in — two current-serving diplomats with knowledge of the situation told BuzzFeed News…
One of the diplomats said that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has ordered an internal investigation into the matter, beginning with interns and employees leaving the State Department this week and next ahead of the transition to the Biden administration.
Actually, it turns out the biographies weren’t “changed” they were created. Neither Trump nor Pence had a biography on the State Dept. website prior to today:
— Jeryl Bier (@JerylBier) January 11, 2021
Since this was discovered the page has apparently been taken down. If you click it now you just get a 404 error.
Buzzfeed’s sources say it will be a challenge to determine who was responsible because of the number of people who have access to the system. I’m guessing the fact that no one at State really wants to do anything about this will also present a challenge. Seriously, I bet there are a few people who already know who did this and they are all patting him or her on the back. It’s a minor point in the greater scheme of things but people should still keep their personal political views out of their government jobs.