Yesterday during his briefing, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer got into a heated exchange with April D. Ryan. Ms. Ryan is the Washington Bureau Chief for American Urban Radio Networks.
At one point (beginning at 27:46) Mr. Spicer said to Ms. Ryan, “I'm sorry that that disgusts you. You're shaking your head” - and again (during 29:18 - 29:20) reiterating, “Please, stop shaking your head again.”
What follows is a partial nonverbal analysis highlighting some key moments of this exchange.
The image immediately above is from 26:50 as April Ryan begins to say, "You don't seem so happy" - Note that Sean Spicer's eyes (eyelids) open up widely in what is an excellent example of classic, subtle display of a partial microexpression of anger. This primed Mr. Spicer's temper - leading to the ensuing loss of his impulse control.
Ms. Ryan continues (at 26:55), "With all these investigations, questions of what is - is, how does this administration, try to revamp its image, two and a half months in? You've got this Yates story today - you've got other things going on, you've got Russia, you've got, you've got wiretapping and you've got [inaudible] - "
Mr. Spicer [over-talking]: "No we don't have that - you, you, you've, I, I know ..."
Ms. Ryan: "You have the investigation on Capitol Hill ..."
Mr. Spicer: "No, no, I get it but you keep, I, I've said it from - the day that I got here until whenever that, that there is no connection, 'You've got Russia, if the President puts Russian salad dressing on his salad tonight - somehow that's a Russian connection ..."
Immediately after Ms. Ryan says "You've go this Yates story today" - in the moment just prior to and continuing during her next two words of "you've got" (during 27:08), Sean Spicer displays another classic microexpression - this one indicating an amalgam of both anger and disgust (captured in image immediately above).
During 27:37, just as says, "No, at some point report the facts ...", Mr. Spicer displays a brief "Finger-point, hand-chop".
Another finger-point, hand-chop is displayed during 27:44 - 27:46, "... The facts are, that every single person who has been briefed on this subject has come away with the same conclusion, republican, democrat, so - I'm sorry that that disgusts you - you're shaking your head ..."
During 28:19 a closely related nonverbal signal is seen - a "Finger Jab" - "We going keep doing everything we're doing to make sure that the President's, that, what the President told the American people he was going to do ...."
During 29:10 - 29:12 yet another finger-point hand-chop is seen as the Press Secretary says, "It seems like you're hell-bent on trying to make sure that what ever image you want to tell about this White House stays because at the end of the day ..."
There exists a very high correlation with deception when the "Finger-Point, Hand-Chop" gesture (illustrator) is seen in response to accusations.
Conclusion: Sean Spicer's nonverbal signals in this exchange with April Ryan - specifically his repeated "finger-point, hand-chops" as well as his disgust-anger microexpression when the subject of Sally Yates was mentioned - indicate, with high probability, that the Press Secretary was engaged in some element of deception.
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