Twitter descended into total chaos Monday afternoon as a government website suggested President Trump’s term was coming to an imminent end, and it sounds like it was all because of a rogue staffer.
On Monday afternoon, Twitter users noticed a head-turning biography page for President Trump on the State Department website that declared “Donald J. Trump’s term ended on” Jan. 11. Yes, that would be Jan. 11 as in today, more than a week before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. The site also claimed Vice President Mike Pence’s term was ending Monday.
As Twitter collectively raised its eyebrows and pondered wild theories that Trump would soon announce his resignation, BuzzFeed News came along with more information, reporting that a “disgruntled employee” at the State Department changed the pages. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has now ordered an internal investigation, according to the report.
“It’s 100 percent not a hack,” a diplomat told BuzzFeed. Links to the page on the State Department website now lead to a message that says “We’re sorry, this site is currently experiencing technical difficulties. Please try again in a few moments.”
Whoever this disgruntled employee might be, if their goal was to sow chaos, confusion, and plenty of memes that derailed just about everyone’s Twitter feed for a good half-hour, well, mission accomplished.