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State Department website briefly changed to say Trump's term 'ended' Monday

Changes to the department's bio pages suggested President Donald Trump's term would end Monday evening. The State Department is investigating.
Credit: AP
An American flag flies at half-staff over the White House in Washington, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

WASHINGTON — Bio pages for President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence on the U.S. State Department website showed Monday afternoon that their terms "ended" Monday evening, nine days before President-elect Joe Biden takes office. 

The State Department has yet to comment publicly on what exactly happened, but sources told the Associated Press that officials are investigating what appears to be a “prank.” 

The changes to the department's bio pages for Trump and Pence created an internet frenzy and had many people wondering what exactly was happening.

As of 3:45 p.m. Eastern, both bio pages were taken down. "We’re sorry, this site is currently experiencing technical difficulties," an error message read. "Please try again in a few moments."   

Buzzfeed News cited sources saying a "disgruntled staffer" was behind the changes and that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had ordered an internal investigation to get to the bottom of it. 

Two people familiar with the incident told AP that the department is investigating exactly how the changes happened. While the department hasn’t ruled out the prospect that the entry was the work of a disgruntled employee, they have yet to reach any conclusions.

Credit: US Department of State
A screenshot of a bio page for President Donald Trump on Jan. 11, 2011, stated the president's term had 'ended.'

The website changes come as dozens of Democrats and a handful of Republican lawmakers call on President Trump to resign following last week's deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol. 

Democrats have pushed for the vice president and Trump's Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove the president from office. Democrats are also moving forward with a plan to vote Wednesday on an article of impeachment. Trump is facing a single charge - "incitement of insurrection." 

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Credit: AP
FILE - President-elect Donald Trump, left, and Vice President-elect Mike Pence acknowledge the crowd during the first stop of his post-election tour, in Cincinnati on Dec. 1, 2016. A new CNN Films documentary explores the role of the U.S. vice presidency, which in modern times has emerged into a more powerful position. Still, the film notes that a veep’s duties are all up to the president. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)