Yesterday, The Washington Post broke the story alleging that then Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Al) spoke (at least twice, July and September 2016) with the Russian Ambassador to the United States (Sergey Kislyak) when he was assisting Donald Trump during his presidential campaign and acting as a surrogate for him. Crucially, Sessions did not disclose these conversations during his recent attorney general confirmation hearings. After immense pressure, Attorney General Sessions has recused himself from any current or future investigations into Russian interference regarding the November 2016 U.S. election.
What follows is a transcript of a portion of the above video - followed by partial nonverbal analysis of that same crucial exchange of Sessions' confirmation hearings for US Attorney General.
Beginning at 3:24, Senator Al Franken continues, "... But, if it's true, it's obviously extremely serious - and if there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do?"
Senator Jeff Sessions: Senator Franken, I'm not aware of ahhh, any of those activities. I h, have [stutter] been called a surrogate a time or two in that campaign and I didn't have, not have [stutter] communications with the Russians - ummm and I'm unable to comment on it.
Senator Al Franken: Very well.
It should be noted that Senator Sessions also denied contact with Russian officials in writing.
Earlier today (Thursday, 2 March 2017), during his news conference wherein he recused himself, the Attorney General acknowledged the two meetings with the Russian Ambassador.
From a Nonverbal Analysis, three signals jump out like a bullhorn:
1. Smiling Out of Context: Whenever a person displays a smile - whether sincere or insincere - which occurs out of context, it is ALWAYS suspect. And while he was here attempting to suppress it, Sessions' smile was indeed sincere. This is an example of duping delight. Duping delight (Ekman) is a term used to describe the behavior associated with a smile made during moments of sincere joy (ergo "delight") during moments when the person displaying it believes that they are (at least somewhat) fooling others (ergo "duping").
2. Blushing: If there is any doubt if a smile is sincere (and in this specific example there is no doubt), the presence of facial blushing confirms sincerity. Moreover blushing while smiling in the midst of a statement of denial - is highly indicative of deception. Sessions is blushing profusely during his sincere, partially suppressed smile.
3. Loose Tongue Jut: The display of a "Loose Tongue Jut" (not to be confused with a "Tight Tongue Jut") indicates the thought-emotion of, "I've been bad" and/or "I've Been caught" (Navarro). Sessions displays an excellent example of a loose tongue jut during 3:48, as Senator Franken says, "Very well."
Other signals, both Paralanguage and Verbal indicative of deception:
4. Not Answering the Question: Senator Sessions simply did not answer the question. Not only that, but Sessions denied involvement when he wasn't being accused. This pattern of behavior is highly suspicious for deception - especially given the fact that he is an attorney.
5. Stuttering, Ah and Um: When clustered with the above findings, particularly the stuttering, these are also consistent with deception.
Conclusion: During his confirmation hearings in January 2016, Senator Jeff Sessions' collective Nonverbal, Paralanguage and Verbal behavior indicate, with extremely highly probability, that he was lying to Senator Al Franken during the passage highlighted above.
Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3864: Uber's CEO, Travis Kalanick Arguing with an Uber Driver regarding Falling Fares - Escalation v. De-Escalation, Body Language and Emotional Intelligence
Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3862: Oscars Mistake - "La La Land" erroneously named Best Picture over "Moonlight"
Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3860: Ian McKellen, The Oscars and a spot-on Maggie Smith Impression
Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3858: Milo Yiannopoulos resigns from Breitbart with "Apology"
Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3851: Donald Trump's Impromptu Press Conference - "Russia is a Ruse"
Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3642: Does Donald Trump Know Vladimir Putin?
Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3850: Benjamin Netanyahu, Donald Trump and Michael Flynn - Press Conference
Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3654: Hope Solo Calls Swedish Team "Cowards" after US Loss in Rio
Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3638: Hillary Clinton's DNC Speech - and One Expression Which Profoundly Lowers Her Likability