Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Gavin Newsom Falling Down Steps While Deplaning -- It's 2014 Footage Of Tommy Tuberville

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Gavin Newsom Falling Down Steps While Deplaning -- It's 2014 Footage Of Tommy Tuberville Tuberville

Does a video show California's governor, Gavin Newsom, falling down the steps while deplaning? No, that's not true: According to the person who first posted it, the footage, filmed in 2014, shows Sen. Tommy Tuberville, who at that time was the coach of the Cincinnati Bearcats. The California's Governor's office confirms that the video does not show Newsom.

The old footage, which surfaced in 2023, has been reposted with several false captions. One example is a post on Instagram published by @rude_patriot on November 2, 2023 (archived here). The caption on the video reads:

Newsom and Biden have a lot in common

Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Mon Nov 06 17:52:33 2023 UTC)

Lead Stories reached out by telephone to Newsom's office to ask about the caption on the video. Erin Mellon, communications director for the Office of the Governor, confirmed on November 17, 2023, that the video does not show Gavin Newsom.

The watermarks on the video show it had been posted on Instagram by @timrunshismouth and on TikTok by @meidastouch, originally on October 11, 2023, with a text caption "Tommy Tumbleville." The video was posted a second time that day with the text removed and an audio track added: the iconic Phil Collins drum solo from "In the Air Tonight." The original @meidastouch post did not mention Newsom. The first caption reads:

Republican Tommy Tuberville recently mocked President Biden and said he's always afraid Biden is going to fall down every time he turns on the TV. Roll the tape! #tommytuberville #senatortuberville #karma #gop #presidentbiden #meidastouch

On July 12, 2023, Tuberville conducted a call with Alabama media on the topic of President Joe Biden's visit in Europe. An article by 1819news.com, which quoted Tuberville extensively, was titled, "'I'm afraid he's going to fall down every time I turn on television.'" An excerpt of what Tuberville said reads:

We're spending billions of dollars a week in this war. If they don't quit what they're doing, they're going to force us into a third World War. I do not want our kids, our young men and women, to have to go to another war like we fought for the last twenty years. It's just amazing to me how inadequate this White House is. There's no diplomacy to them. We sent some people to China and they basically laughed at us. You watch Joe Biden over in Europe. I mean, I'm afraid he's going to fall down every time I turn on television.

On October 10, 2023, Cincinnati resident and football fan Jason Cooper posted a video (archived here) in reply to a post on X from 1819 News (pictured below). Cooper captioned the post:

Old people fall all the time. Here's 60 year old Tommy Tuberville falling down some stairs in 2014 before losing to UVA in... wait for it... the Military Bowl.


(Source: X screenshot taken on Mon Nov 06 17:52:33 2023 UTC)

Cooper corrected an error in a follow-up post on October 11, 2023, clarifying that the team Tuberville had lost to in the 2014 Military Bowl game was VT (the Virginia Tech Hokies).

The video Cooper posted went viral and many reposts seemed to suggest that Tuberville's fall happened recently, after he became a senator and after he made the comments about Biden's falls. An October 11, 2023, article in Salon stated incorrectly that the fall took place that day:

Tuberville's tumble took place on Wednesday while exiting the aircraft, at which point he appears to have lost his footing, causing him to slide down quite a distance, losing his grip on the luggage he'd been grasping in each hand as he made his way down.

Lead Stories tried to find a copy of the footage or a mention of the mishap dating back to 2014, but could not. We reached out to Cooper on X on November 6, 2023, to ask where he got the footage or if he had filmed it himself. Cooper replied:

I'm the original poster of the video but didn't take it.

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?

See who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.:

  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

About Us

International Fact-Checking Organization Meta Third-Party Fact Checker

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

Lead Stories is a:


Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Lead Stories LLC:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Most Read

Most Recent

Share your opinion