Speculation that President Donald Trump resigned spread online after a State Department page was updated to declare his term in office over.
The department’s biography page for Trump was altered to state his term “ended on 2021-01-11 19: 49: 00.”
The Associated Press reported that the incident is being investigated. The prospect of a disgruntled employee taking the action has not been ruled out, though no conclusion has been reached, the report added—citing two people familiar with the incident. Since it was amended, the page has been removed.
In the aftermath, Google searches for “did Donald Trump resign” and “did Trump resign” have both spiked, up 4,000 percent over the last day in the United States at time of writing. Searches for “state department” and “state department Trump term ended” also spiked on Monday.
Social media was rife with people questioning the situation, with the hashtag #TrumpResigned gaining traction on Twitter.
The page also prompted people to ask if he had resigned, sharing screengrabs of the line detailing his term to be over.
Newsweek has contacted the State Department and the White House for comment on the incident and the rumors it sparked of a resignation.
Trump has faced increasing calls to resign in the aftermath of the chaos at the Capitol last week, in which five people died. The president has condemned the violence but a backlash against him continues.
“We have just been through an intense election and emotions are high,” he said in a statement following the storming of the Capitol.
“But now tempers must be cooled and calm restored. We must get on with the business of America.”
While he has continued to question election integrity, despite having not evidenced fraud or irregularities on a scale which could have changed the presidential election outcome, he has also accepted that Joe Biden will be sworn in and that his own term is coming to an end.
There have also been calls for his power to be stripped via the 25th Amendment and he also faces being impeached for the second time. The latter at present appears more likely, and the House of Representatives has moved forward with the process to do this.