‘Disgruntled’ State Department staffer was behind ‘prank’ that saw government website edited
REVEALED: ‘Disgruntled’ State Department staffer was behind ‘prank’ that saw government website edited to show Trump and Pence’s term ending TODAY
- A disgruntled worker at the State Department changed the biographies of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in a ‘prank’
- Dates on a webpage were altered to state their term was ending on Monday
- There is still another nine days before President-elect Joe Biden is to be sworn in
- The changes to the State Department’s website come days after the president incited a violent mob to descend on the US Capitol
- Democrats have begun the process of impeachment for a second time
The change to the department’s bio page for Trump – which displayed the text ‘Donald J. Trump’s term ended on 2021-01-11 19:49:00’ – created an internet frenzy on Monday afternoon.
The vice president’s biography was similarly edited to state ‘Michael R. Pence’s term ended on 2021-01-11 19:44:22.’
A disgruntled worker at the State Department changed the biographies of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in a ‘prank’ that showed his term in office had ended
Dates on the State Department webpage were altered to state that Vice President Pence’s term was also ending on Monday evening
The change came nine days before President-elect Joe Biden is to be sworn in.
Eventually both pages were removed around 3:50pm and simply threw up error messages reading: ‘We’re sorry, this site is currently experiencing technical difficulties. Please try again in a few moments.’
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has ordered an internal investigation into the matter with a focus on interns and employees leaving the State Department this week before the Biden administration takes over.
But it might not be easy to track down who was behind the hack given how many people have access to the content management system used for the State Department’s official website.
It’s a ‘closed system’ that is ‘nearly impossible to hack,’ said one of the diplomats. ‘It’s 100% not a hack,’ they said to BuzzFeed.
It’s believed the website was adjusted by someone at the State Department rather than a hacker from the outside
There is still another nine days before President-elect Joe Biden is to be sworn in
The flub comes as Trump is under growing pressure to resign and as he faces a second impeachment after his supporters stormed the Capitol last week in a bid to halt the certification of Trump’s election defeat to President-elect Joe Biden.
Two people familiar with the incident say the department is investigating exactly how the change to the website happened and believe the stunt was the work of a ‘disgruntled staffer’.
The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly. The pages have since been removed.
The sudden alteration led to much hilarity on Twitter by those who were amused by the change.
‘Was the disgruntled staffer… Mike Pence?’ asked one Twitter user.
‘That narrows it down to: the entire State Department,’ wrote another.
‘I nominate “Angry Staffer” for the Presidential Medal of Freedom,’ joked another user.
‘An administration marked by stability and professionalism to the last,’ added another.
The sudden alteration led to much hilarity on Twitter by users who were amused by the change
In recent days, American diplomats have drafted two cables condemning President Donald Trump’s incitement of the deadly assault on the Capitol and calling for administration officials to possibly support invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office.
Using what is known as the State Department’s ‘dissent channel,’ career foreign and civil service officers said they fear last Wednesday’s siege may badly undermine U.S. credibility to promote and defend democratic values abroad.
‘Failing to publicly hold the president to account would further damage our democracy and our ability to effectively accomplish our foreign policy goals abroad,’ according to the second of the two cables, which were circulated among diplomats late last week and then sent to State Department leadership.
More than 100 State Department employees signed the cable.
Dozens of State Department officials filed a formal dissent cable directed at Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, pictured , who has failed to address the role Trump played in encouraging his supporters who stormed the Capitol building
The dissent channel is normally used to oppose specific foreign policy decisions. The two most recent cables appear to be unprecedented in their scope and characterization of the president as a danger to the country.
The cables also reflect anger at the response to the riot by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a loyal Trump ally.
Pompeo has condemned the violence at the Capitol but has pointedly not addressed the role Trump played in encouraging his supporters who stormed the building. Nor has Pompeo addressed the aftermath or acknowledged that American diplomats overseas may now face new difficulty in promoting democracy.