March 4, 2021
State Department website mistakenly shows Trump's presidential term ending early

State Department website mistakenly shows Trump’s presidential term ending early


Donald Trump bio page on the State Department website

The website of the State Department shows an incorrect end date for President Trump’s time in office.


Screenshot by Corinne Reichert/CNET

The US Department of State website was changed Monday to say that Donald Trump’s term as US president “ended” on Jan. 11 at 7:40 p.m. ET, which is incorrect. BuzzFeed News reported that the notation might have been done deliberately by a “disgruntled employee,” and others reported it could have been a site bug, since something similar has happened before on the site. 

The State Department site also erroneously had Vice President Mike Pence’s biography reading that his term ended Jan. 11 at 7:41 p.m.

Trump’s term in office runs through Wednesday, Jan. 20, when President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn in. Pence’s term also runs until Jan. 20.

The incident comes less than a week after a day of violence and chaos at the US Capitol, which was breached by a mob seeking to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. The insurrection failed, and Biden’s presidency was confirmed by the Senate.

The House of Representatives is preparing to vote on invoking the 25th Amendment or alternatively voting to impeach Trump this week amid calls by members of Congress for Trump to resign for his actions connected to last week’s unrest.

Read more: House Democrats move to impeach Trump: Everything to know right now

The changes on the State Department website began showing at around 3 p.m. ET on Jan. 11. As of 3:45 p.m., Trump’s biography page had been taken down completely.

“We’re sorry, this site is currently experiencing technical difficulties,” the error message reads. “Please try again in a few moments.” Pence’s biography page is still up.

According to BuzzFeed News citing unnamed sources, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has kicked off an investigation into the issue.

The White House, the State Department and the Department of Justice didn’t immediately respond to  requests for comment.





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