With criminal charges expected in just a few hours, many believe that Paul Manafort is high on the list to be one of those first named by Robert Mueller's team in their investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US Presidential election. This interview of Paul Manafort was conducted on 27 July 2016 (video above). At the time, Mr. Manafort was Donald Trump's campaign manager. What follows is a partial nonverbal analysis.
NORAH O'DONNELL (beginning at 1:58): So to be clear, Mr. Trump has no financial relationships with any Russian Oligarchs?
PAUL MANAFORT: Th-, that's what he said. I, I'd d-, that's what I sa-, that's - obviously what the, th, our position is.
Paul Manafort's verbal response alone is profound. "... that's - obviously what the, th, our position is". This is not, by any means, anywhere close to a denial. If he were confident and truthful he would say, "That's correct" or "No, he doesn't" or similar.
From a paralanguage perspective, his stuttering is also extreme. Mr. Manafort also confuses his pronouns - and interrupts his own sentences.
After he answers Ms. O'Donnell, Mr. Manafort displays a classic nonverbal tell (2:10). His lips grow very thin and take on a horizontal configuration. This is highly indicative of Anger.
Paul Manafort's jaw also clenches as well as juts forward. Both Jaw Clenching and Jaw Jutting are here indicative of an adrenaline surge associated with his Anger.
During 2:04, as he said, "Th-, that's what he said...", Mr. Manafort displays a shoulder shrug on his left side.
A shoulder shrug indicates:
• I don't know
• I don't care
• What does it matter?
• What difference does it make?
He also simultaneously closes his eyelids during this moment in an extended blink. This is blocking/distancing behavior - and a form of diminished eye contact.
As he says, "... that's - obviously what the, th, our position is...", President Trump's campaign manager (during that time), re-adjusts his position - in a textbook example of "Squirming in his Chair". Manafort once again displays extended blinking along with gazing down and down-right.
Summary: Paul Manafort's multiple nonverbal signals indicate he believed that Donald Trump did indeed have financial relationships with Russian Oligarchs. Mr. Manafort's dramatic stuttering - and other paralanguage tells - along with his non-definitive/non-answer serve to drive even more nails in his proverbial coffin. This section of the interview is such a classic deception-detection nonverbal teaching example - that it will be shown for decades.
Group Appearances and One-on-One
Online Courses Available
Body Language Analysis No. 4106: Jordan's Queen Rania meets with Rohingya Refugee Children
Body Language Analysis No. 4104: Walter Cronkite Reaction to JFK Assassination
Body Language Analysis No. 4102: Senator Bob Corker - Donald Trump is an Untruthful President
Body Language Analysis No. 4100: Bryan Cranston and The Eyelid Pull
Body Language Analysis No. 4086: Donald Trump, Harvey Weinstein, and Access Hollywood Video
Body Language Analysis No. 4075: Equifax Chairman and CEO Richard F. Smith Steps Down After Massive Hack/Data Breach
Body Language Analysis No. 4032: John Kelly's Reaction to Donald Trump's Press Conference Regarding the Events in Charlottesville
Body Language Analysis No. 4000: Garbiñe Muguruza, Wimbledon, and Sincerity
Body Language Analysis No. 3965: Manspreading, Madrid, and a Business Faux Pas