This morning, while leaving the White House on his way to Utah, Donald Trump answered a few questions from the press. One query (although largely inaudible in this video) was concerning Michael Flynn's recent guilty plea.
What follows is a partial nonverbal analysis of President Trump during this exchange.
DONALD TRUMP (continuing at 1:03): Well, I feel badly for General Flynn, I feel very badly. He's led a very - ah, strong life, and I feel very badly, John. I will say this - ah, Hillary Clinton lied many times to the FBI - nothing happened to her. Flynn lied and they destroyed his life. I think it's a shame. Hillary Clinton - on the fourth of July weekend - went to the FBI - not under oath - it was the most incredible thing anyone's ever seen. She lied many times - nothing happened to her. Flynn lied - and it's like - they ruined his life. It's very unfair. Thank you very much.
After answering, The President immediately lifts his right hand - in a pseudo-wave. This gesture (illustrator) signals his departure - but more importantly, that he no longer wanted to answer any questions. Simultaneously, he also closes both of his eyes (eyelids) in an extended blink - blocking out his audience and the camera (1:39).
He then quickly turns away - still not looking at his audience or the camera - while his eyes remain closed.
He then displays a classic facial expression of regret.
Heading towards Marine One, the President gives a "Thumbs Up" gesture (Illustrator) - yet he still makes no eye contact.
He then puts his thumbs-up hand - his right - his dominant hand - immediately into his coat pocket. The inactive, left, and non-dominant hand remains exposed.
Note the Body Language cluster of:
• Closing his eyes in an extended blink (psychologically blocking)
• Looking away
• Displaying a classic expression of Regret
• Right hand, while normally dominant is seeking protection
In addition to the emotion of regret, this nonverbal-sentence is classic for low-confidence, emotional discomfort, and the need for refuge. This is Donald Trump during a significantly beta moment.
It's crucial to emphasize, while a "Thumbs-up" hand is a universal signal (emblem) for optimism - it's initiated consciously - and in this scenario, it was a nonverbal-lie. Trump's pseudo-wave was also consciously driven. But the President's other signals are unconscious. Whenever the nonverbal signals are/appear to be contradictory - it's the subconscious signals which indicate the person's true thought-emotions. This nonverbal axiom is beautifully illustrated in the dramatic contrast of the dominant, right hand, "Thumbs-up" display decrescendoing into the immediate hiding of this same hand.
Summary: Donald Trump's nonverbal behavior displayed in this video indicate he's in a significantly beta, low-confidence, and regretful mindset. He's in an emotionally protective-mode.
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