During the Commander in Chief Forum yesterday, Donald Trump referenced what he claimed were negative reactions toward President Obama and other national leaders on the part of those individuals who have given him national security briefings. Mr. Trump claimed he used his own body language skills to discern their alleged discontent.
Let us now evaluate Mr. Trump's body language regarding this allegation.
MATT LAUER (beginning at 10:43): Did you learn anything in that briefing — again, not going into specifics — that makes you reconsider some of the things you say you can accomplish, like defeating ISIS quickly?
DONALD TRUMP: No, I didn’t learn anything from that standpoint. What I did learn is that our leadership, Barack Obama, did not follow what our [glances up to his right] experts and our truly — when they call it intelligence, it’s there for a reason — what our experts said to do.
MATT LAUER: Hallie?
DONALD TRUMP: And I was very, very surprised. In almost every instance. And I could tell you. I have pretty good with the body language. I could tell [deep sniff/inhalation] they were not happy. Our leaders did not follow what they were recommending.
To the astute observer, Trump's statement of "... I have pretty good with the body language ..." should send up red flags. The mid-sentence stumble here isn't just very awkward, it's a signal of deception.
Notice also the lack of contractions such as "I've" or "I'm" - or in the next sentence, "were not" is used rather than "weren't" - or two sentences later, "did not" is used instead of "didn't". With spoke language, the lack of contraction usage, where contractions are possible, correlates with deception.
In the midst of this language-paralanguage behavior cluster we see another beautiful nonverbal signal of a lie. When Mr. Trump says, "... I could tell ..." he makes a deep inhalation with a sniff (during 11:14), and finishes his sentence with, "... they were not happy ...".
In this cluster-context, strategically placed as it is, this sniff-inhalation is a nose rub analog and is highly correlative with deception.
A few sentences earlier, Mr. Trump said, "What I did learn is that our leadership, Barack Obama, did not follow what our experts and our truly — when they call it intelligence, it’s there for a reason — what our experts said to do." As Trump said, "... our ..." he looked up to his right. This is the quadrant to which the vast majority right handed people will glance when visually constructing an event in their mind's eye. If Mr. Trump had truly witnessed - and thus was visually recalling a memory as he claimed (rather than constructing a false one) - he would have looked up to his left. This moment is captured below (during 11:01).
Summary: Mr. Trump's claim of his own body language assessment of National Security Experts being dissatisfied and "not happy" with President Obama, is here refuted by Trump's own deceptive body language. Donald Trump was lying.
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