Donald Trump has now backtracked on his claims that President Obama and Hillary Clinton founded ISIS. Earlier today Trump said via a tweet: "Ratings challenged @CNN reports so seriously that I call President Obama (and Clinton) "the founder" of ISIS, & MVP. THEY DON'T GET SARCASM?"
The video above is from a speech Mr. Trump gave yesterday in Orlando. Of course this appearance contains thousands of various nonverbal tells, but for the purpose of this particular analysis, a single yet highly significant one is highlighted.
Trump continues (beginning at 45:04), "You know that ISIS is now - ISIS is now - and you saw this - came out today - they tried to hold what's - they're up to 28 countries, they're in 28 countries. They were in 8 a while ago, now they're in 28 countries. And they tried to suppress the information - I assume it was the Obama Administration - and it came out today what's going on - it's getting stronger - it's getting bigger - and I've been saying - that Barack Obama is the founder... "
When Trump says the word, "... founder ..." (during 45:38), he displays a suppressed smile. It's subtle but very important. Although several images of this split second are included below, it is important that the video be examined as it the captures the dynamics which a still photo cannot. Replay this segment several times at the regular speed, but also at 1/2, 1/4 and even 2x speeds. You should be able to see a subtle suppressed smile during this key moment. The only reason for a smile (or a suppressed smile) during this sentence is either:
- Trump believes Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton founded ISIS and this perception gives him joy-happiness.
- Trump doesn't believe his own statement, but is taking sincere joy-happiness in his deception of (or in his attempt to deceive) his audience into believing this fabrication.
Because of Trump's tweet this morning, we now know the second scenario is true (and of course also due to a massive amount of data collected my many countries' intelligence agencies as well as other investigative organizations over the past several years).
In nonverbal parlance, this is an example of what is known as "Duping Delight" (Ekman) and is a profoundly classic nonverbal tell. Mr. Trump's psyche was taking sincere pleasure in his deception and this duping delight is clear evidence.
This website serves as a reference source for the art and science of Body Language/Nonverbal Communication. The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the author. In an effort to be both practical and academic, many examples from/of varied cultures, politicians, professional athletes, legal cases, public figures, etc., are cited in order to teach and illustrate both the interpretation of others’ body language as well as the projection of one’s own nonverbal skills in many different contexts – not to advance any political, religious or other agenda.
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