On Thursday 5 October 2017, just prior to a dinner with high-level US military personnel and their spouses, President Trump made a cryptic and rather disconcerting statement alluding to, "The calm before the storm".
What follows is that brief dialog followed by a partial nonverbal analysis.
PRESIDENT TRUMP (beginning at 0:00): You guys know what this represents?∆
JOURNALIST A: No.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I don't kn - Maybe it’s the calm before the storm. Ω µ
JOURNALIST B: What’s the storm of?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Could be - the calm - the calm before the storm.
JOURNALIST C (over-talking): What is it?
JOURNALIST D: On Iran? On ISIS? On what? ∂
JOURNALIST E: What storm Mr. President?
PRESIDENT TRUMP (over-talking): We have the world’s great military people in this room - I will tell you that. And, ah, we're gonna 've a great evening. Thank you all for coming. Thank you.
JOURNALIST F: What storm Mr. President?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: You'll find out.
• During first three seconds of video
• Sweeping Upward Finger (notated by ∆)
• Suppressed Smile
This image is of lower resolution due to movement of both the camera and President Trump - and in addition, the photo is magnified.
He calls attention to not only the place and event - but within the context of military personnel being present. The use of his index finger is hyper alpha - and its upward vectoring is - from his point of view - optimistic and favorable.
His suppressed, partial smile (many people would call a "smirk") and is indicative clandestine/non-disclosed information.
• Head Tilt
• Palm Up
• Head Tilt
• Unilateral suppressed smile
• Elevated Eyebrows
• Vocal Tone
All these signals occur during 0:04 second, as he says, "I don't kn- ..."
This nonverbal cluster indicates a direct yet deliberately sarcastic contradiction to his verbal and self-truncated statement of, "I don't kn - ..."
• Unilateral Suppressed Smile (smirk)
• Head beginning to tilt back
• As he says, "... before ..." (the first time he says "before", during 0:05)
A suppressed smile almost always indicates meaningful information which is not fully shared.
• Head Tilting further back during 0:06 just after he says, "... "I don't kn - Maybe it’s the calm before
the storm."..." (the first time, notated by Ω)
His head tilt in this body language cluster is, in part, a distancing phenomenon. Clustered with his contempt and disgust is a nonverbal way of saying, "I know something that you don't know - and you are beneath me".
• Tongue Click
• Unilateral Suppressed Smile
• Elevated Eyebrows
During 0:06 second (notated by µ) less than a half a second after the immediately preceding image, just after he says, "I don't kn - Maybe it’s the calm before the storm."
This unilateral suppressed (false) smile together with a Tongue Click - is patronizing and bodes ill for the receiving person/group who is the recipient of "the storm". The Tongue Click a hyper-alpha nonverbal-paralanguage signal.
• False Smile (Disgust Smile)
• Dynamic Head Tilt - emphasizing his Disgust.
During 0:13 (notated by ∂)
• Elevated Central Forehead Contraction
• Suppressed Mouth Smile
• Bouncing up and down on feet
- during 0:27 as he says, "You'll find out". This particular suppressed smile is subtle - watch the video several times as the still image does not capture the dynamic nature of this nonverbal tell. An elevated Central Forehead Contraction together with a Partial Mouth Smile (even a subtle one) in this context indicates Arrogance or Contempt (although both of these emotions may be manifested by other facial expressions).
His bouncing up and down on his feet/toes indicates an adrenaline surge indicated by excitement.
Summary: Most people are interpreting The President's "Calm Before the Storm" statement - as an ill omen for either Rex Tillerson or Kim Jong-un/North Korea.
President Trump's disgust and contempt may be directed at the recipient of "the storm" - or the members of the press (or both groups). The context, personnel present, and the President's reference suggests "the storm" is a military metaphor.
Donald Trump is excited about the ramifications of his secret. It's a particularly hyper-alpha moment for him. A partial/suppressed smile is nearly always indicative of withheld information - and this phenomenon is classically exemplified in this short video.
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