Fact Check

Hillary Clinton's Premature Victory Celebration

A video purportedly showing Hillary, Bill, and Chelsea Clinton prematurely celebrating an election victory was likely taken after the first presidential debate.

Published Dec. 19, 2016

Image courtesy of FLICKR
A video shows Chelsea, Bill, and Hillary Clinton prematurely celebrating a presidential election victory on 8 November 2016.

A video purportedly showing Chelsea, Bill, and Hillary Clinton prematurely celebrating a presidential election victory was widely shared on the internet in the wake of the Democratic nominee's loss on 8 November 2016:

While this video was distributed by several web sites along with the assertion that it showed the Clintons prematurely celebrating a victory on election night that proved to be unrealized, little evidence was provided to back up this claim. The video contains no audio, is only a few seconds long, and as of this writing the source is still unknown. The earliest version we could uncover was published by LiveLeak on 16 November 2016, but that video was also lacking context.

The Gateway Pundit  attempted to prove to their readers (or possibly to mislead them into believing) that the video was taken on election night by providing a photograph of Bill, Chelsea, and Hillary Clinton in similar clothing at an 8 November 2016 campaign event:

clinton election
Although that photograph was taken on Election Day 2016, there were some obvious differences between the clothes the Clintons were wearing in that image and the ones they are seen wearing in the video. Mainly, Chelsea Clinton was garbed a sort of aqua sleeveless dress in the still photograph, but she sports a dark blue long-sleeved dress in the video:

clinton comparison

Perhaps more telling is the change in Bill Clinton's attire. Photographs from Election Day 2016 show that Bill Clinton was wearing a light blue shirt with a dark blue and white tie, but in the video he is seen clothed in a white shirt with a salmon-colored tie:

clinton blue

In addition to the optical discrepancies, the narrative behind the claim doesn't quite add up. Clinton was likely confident heading into the election since most polls showed her with a large advantage, so it's hard to fathom a moment which would have elicited such an act of jubilation in the course of an election night in which she lost.

So when was this video taken? Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton were wearing outfits that match those shown in the video at the first presidential debate of 2016 at Hofsfra University:

It's plausible that the Clintons would have engaged a short but jubilant celebration after this event, as many observed felt that Clinton had won the debate.

The "premature celebration" video is frequently shared in close proximity to a similar claim holding that Clinton threw a tantrum following her election night loss. This rumor, too, is largely unfounded.


The Economist.   "A Win for Hillary Clinton: The First Presidential Debate."     27 September 2016.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.