There are many crucial moments in this video. One of particular importance is the issue of any possible relationship between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.
Beginning at 2:16, George Stephanopoulos asks the Republican Candidate for President: "What exactly is your relationship with Vladimir Putin?"
Trump answers: "I have no relationship with Putin. I have no relationship with Putin."
Now, listen again carefully to Trump's response. In his first sentence, as he says the word "relationship", he stretches out his "r" pronunciation. Also, at the end of the word he stutters so that the word sounds like "... rrelationship,ip ...".
Of paramount importance, in his second sentence, Trump's speech volume trails off when he says, "Putin". The word is spoken much quieter than the other words in the sentence and also when compared to Trump's overwhelming pattern of talking louder than others around him. Moreover, he speaks it with a decrescendoing volume - subsequently the end of the word "Putin" can barely be heard.
As he says, "with Putin" in the second sentence, Trump breaks his eye contact with Stephanopoulos. The timing of his looking away is crucial because he is making a declarative statement with the subject of his sentence (Putin) as well as the volume patterns mentioned previously.
Moreover Trump also looks down to his right. When a momentary drop of eye contact does occur during deception, this is the quadrant to which most right-hand dominant people will most often look (Trump is right-handed).
To review, we see the following behavior clustered during Trump's short answer:
1. Stuttering during word "relationship"
2. Decrescendo/rapidly waning volume with a crucial word ("Putin")
A. Atypical pattern vs. rest of sentence
B. Atypical speech pattern for Trump
3. Lack of eye contact during a "Putin"
4. Looking down to the right during "with Putin"
Summary: Donald Trump has a hesitancy to speak both the words, "relationship" - as well as "Putin". He also does not want to look Stephanopoulos in the eye when he says, "Putin". Donald Trump is exhibiting an absolutely classic cluster of paralanguage and nonverbal behaviors which are disparate with his words. Donald Trump believes he has a relationship with Vladimir Putin - and his belief is contradictory with his statement which he made during this interview. Donald Trump is lying - or he is both delusional and lying.
The next time Steven Spielberg is directing a scene in which an actor is telling a lie - he should look to this example.
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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