On Monday, Jan. 11, amid calls for U.S. President Donald Trump's resignation and efforts to impeach him for inciting an insurrection on Jan. 6 at the Capitol, Twitter users noticed an odd statement on the U.S. Department of State's biographies of Trump and Mike Pence.
Users shared screenshots of the website stating that the terms of the president and the vice president had come to an end nine days before President-elect Joe Biden is to be sworn in. The edit was made in the updated biographies of Trump and Pence.
Although their terms did not, in fact, end at the time, it is true that the government website briefly displayed the statement, and can be seen in archived versions of the pages here. The webpage was later pulled from the site with the following message being displayed: "We're sorry, this site is currently experiencing technical difficulties. Please try again in a few moments."
An Inside Job
BuzzFeed News reported that the change was made by "a disgruntled employee at the State Department," citing two U.S. diplomats as sources, who noted it was not a hack and added that an investigation would be conducted into the incident.
"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."
On Jan. 9, Foreign Police Magazine reported that around 175 officials at the State Department filed a dissent cable condemning Trump for inciting the violent mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol building and urged top administration officials to consider invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office.
'Open the Wine Bottle'
The ending of Trump's term incited some hilarious responses from Twitter users. "AM I OPENING THIS WINE BOTTLE OR NOT??!" wrote one user, while another commented, "I found a lamp on the beach and polished it. Dude came out and asked me what I wanted."
Here are some of the other reactions: