Saturday, July 20, 2019

Body Language Analysis No. 2391: Donald Trump, Buzz Aldrin, and Variations on the 'Side-Eye' - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (PHOTO)


We don't look directly at those individuals whom we don't like, we don't believe, and/or don't respect. A subset of this phenomenon is that sometimes we don't look directly at another person so as to avoid escalation of our own temper - in order to avoid emotional confrontation.

While we all, as human beings, are occasionally vulnerable to the weakness of losing our temper, those with greater emotional intelligence will, by definition, also have greater self-awareness. We recognize these chinks in our armor and take the necessary measures before any negative escalation.

Some people instinctively know (at a subconscious or edge-of-consciousness level) that on some occasions - when our own impulse control is faltering - we become momentarily vulnerable. And, at these times, if we look directly at a person who we don't like, don't believe, and/or don't respect - our own negative emotions may very well crescendo beyond our control. In short, variations on the 'Side Eye' sometimes serve as techniques we use to control our own temper.

Astronauts, in large measure, are chosen because of their superior emotional intelligence. They're not average. They're certainly not emotionally labile. They have 'The Right Stuff'. They have learned to recognize as well as self-regulate their emotions.

The first time I heard the adjective, 'unflappable', it was a description of Neil Armstrong. Armstrong was always cool during emergencies. Fifty years ago today, after an unexpected boulder field necessitated a last-minute course correction, Neil Armstrong landed the Lunar Module on the Earth's Moon with only 17 seconds of fuel to spare. May we all seek to have this same grace under pressure.

Thank you, Neil, Buzz, and Michael - for what you did long ago.


Media Inquiries and Group Appearances 
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See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4390: Mike Pence visits 'Detention Center' in McAllen, Texas

Body Language Analysis No. 4389: Jeffrey Epstein's Default Expression

Body Language Analysis No. 4388: Donald Trump regarding Drowned Father and Daughter in the Rio Grande

Body Language Analysis No. 4387: Donald Trump Welcomes Foreign Interference in US Elections

Body Language Analysis No. 4386: Donald Trump and Ivanka Trump in Churchill's War Room

Body Language Analysis No. 4385: William Barr Testimony - Part II - Senate Judiciary Committee - 1 May 2019

Body Language Analysis No. 4380: Tiger Woods Wins his first Masters in 14 years

Body Language Analysis No. 4360: GE's CEO Larry Culp's CNBC Interview and Subsequent Stock Sell-off

Body Language Analysis No. 4343: Idris Elba, Kate Winslet, Anxiety, and Empathy


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Monday, July 15, 2019

Body Language Analysis No. 4390: Mike Pence visits 'Detention Center' in McAllen, Texas - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)




Vice President Pence briefly visited a migrant "Detention Center" in McAllen, Texas on Friday 12 July 2019. What follows is a partial nonverbal analysis of the above video of that event.


In our very first glance of Vice President Pence in this video (0:14), he is looking up - and maintains his upward gaze - well above the faces of the men in cages.

This complete lack of eye-contact in this scenario is profound - for it dramatically facilitates dehumanization. The tendency of a person to inflict suffering upon other human beings and animals is amplified by a lack of eye contact.

Conversely, eye contact during moments of pain and suffering engenders empathy and affection - affection even among people who have never met. Such eye contact dramatically builds rapport and feelings of connection which profoundly transcends any words.

The Vice President's facial expression is an amalgam of Contempt and Disgust.

Notice that Pence's head and neck are tilted backward. While this configuration is not a required component of either disgust or contempt - it does serve to amplify both of these emotions.

Another important component of Pence's body language here are his crossed arms. Note his right hand is largely hidden, with its fingers only partially exposed on his left bicep - while his left hand is mostly hidden. Notice too, that his upper arms are pulled more closely to his torso than is typical. This is not a loose arm cross. Pence is protecting himself from what he perceives to be a threat. His crossed arms projects the beta emotions of defensiveness (defensiveness-related anxiety), emotional discomfort, and low confidence. No leader should ever project these emotions — particularly in this context.

During the vast majority of this video, Pence's torso was oblique to it to the cage - a structure which serves as a surrogate for the men in toto (~45º to ~ 60º). Critically, although he twice twisted his torso parallel to the cage (0:16 - 0:18 and 0:45 - 0:46), by the Vice President's movements, his feet appear to have never been directly pointing at it. Human beings whole body point - and particularly point our feet - toward other people who we respect (and also toward those whom we like or find attractive). Pence's lack of body pointing in this context is further evidence of his nonacknowledgement of them as a group - and his feeling that they don't deserve respect.

Note the Male Officer in the green uniform. He's twisting/massaging/pulling at his left ring finger. This is a common significant indicator of anxiety.


Note Pence's disgust expression is more extreme in this next moment (0:21)

Senator Mike Lee, to Pence's left, is also looking over the heads of the men in cages - and while not a requirement of upward gaze, Lee's head is also tilted backward. He has an expression of both subtle contempt and subtle disgust.

The uniformed man in green has mild contempt expression together with frustration (presumably at the videographer). His fingers are interlaced with his thumbs steepled. In this context, his hand configuration is an amalgam of alpha-impatience and frustration.


Senator Lindsey Graham walks in the room and steps in between the Vice President and the encaged men. As he is doing so, he whole-body points toward who he considers to be his priority - Mike Pence (0:24).


Senator Graham continues to negotiate for positioning - maintaining his back towards the men - while his face and body point toward the Vice President (0:25).

Note also, his hands are in his front pants pockets. We hide our hands during beta moments of emotional discomfort.


The Vice President then, momentarily, uncrosses his arms, and while speaking to the officer in green, gestures with his palm down (0:27). Palm-down gestures are associated with alpha-emotional tones. These are used by individuals who are asserting dominant and often hyper-dominant mindsets. And crucially, a person using palm-down gestures has already decided what their course of action will be. There is virtually no chance of changing the mind of a person using palm-down gestures.

Note the direction of Pence's gaze - he's still not looking at the men. He's temporarily looking downward - as is the officer to whom he's speaking.

Senators Lindsey Graham and Mike Lee are also averting their gazes - but in the form of prolonged blinking. Their eyes are momentarily closed. At least a portion of their minds do not want to look at the suffering before them. They're both in states of cogitative-emotional dissonance.

Graham's hands are still in the pocketed and beta configured. His mouth projects regret. These are additional signals of cogitative-emotional dissonance.


Pence displays a clear expression for the thought-emotion of Contempt as he asks the office a question confirming that the facility ("you"), "... you don't have enough space?" (0:30).

Note that the context of "you" as Pence uses it here - the "Detention Center" - is instituted by the federal government - for which Pence is second in command. Pence is a crucial part of the "you" to which he refers.


In this next image, only Lindsey Graham is looking straight ahead (in primary gaze). Pence, Lee, and the officer are all looking in upward gaze - thus not into the eyes of the caged men (0:31).

A crucial detail here is that the heads and necks of each of the three American politicians are all tilted backward. This disgust amplifier is an indirect indication of the politicians "looking down their noses" at the caged men.

Pence continues his beta, defensive, protective, low confidence, emotional discomfort crossed-arm configuration. 

Pence proceeds to nod his head up-and-down while his facial expression conveys an amalgam of Anger and Disgust. Head nodding is extremely common default behavior for Vice President Pence.
This nodding behavior, while on its surface, would seem to be purely an acknowledgement and/or an agreement - with its excessive duration and context is a manifestation of Pence's adrenaline excess arising from his anxiety, emotional discomfort, a desire to look thoughtful - particularly while on camera.

Senator Lee's right index finger is digging into the pad of his right thumb as he simultaneously looks approximately 90º to his left. Senator Lee is profoundly emotionally uncomfortable. He's struggling to appear relevant - and yet, he very much wants to leave.


Lindsey Graham is feeling deep regret and shame during 0:36.


During 0:34 - 0:39, Pence lowers his arms and hands to his sides as he briefly looks out into the crowd of men in cages. His gaze is at a level consistent with their faces as he continues to nod his head up-and-down.


As he looks away, Pence continues to display contempt (0:46). Senator Lee continues his prolonged blinking - his psyche trying to block the suffering in front of him.


The officer of the facility elevates his forehead and eyebrows, while simultaneously making acknowledgment eye contact with the Secret Service agent. He motions with his right arm-hand as his left hand begins to elevate to Pence's back in order to direct the Vice President out of the room. It's highly likely that this officer, prior to Pence's entrance, was instructed to give him a very short description and get the Vice President back outside of the room.

Pence once again, defaults to his a disgust expression with his looking-down-his-nose/head and neck tilted backward posture (0:46).


Along with Senator Lee, Vice President Pence also manifesting his anxiety in a similar fashion - digging his right thumb into his right index finger (0:48).


While exhibiting the same anxiety dynamic with his left hand (0:50).


Pence exhibits continued contempt as he rotates to exit the room (0:50).


SUMMARY: Mike Pence's body language repeatedly displays contempt and disgust for these men in cages.

Although he is the second in command of the nation, the Vice President is defensive, has low confidence, high anxiety, and feels in need of protection.

It's of profound importance to note that Mike Pence had almost no eye contact with these men. Empathetic leaders would be engaging with them - looking them in their eyes, speaking with them, and even touching them. They would be acknowledged as human beings who are suffering.

Mike Pence is trying to feign empathy - he's making a token attempt at appearing thoughtful. However, the Vice President does not feel any empathy for these men. Rather he feels disgust and contempt toward them.


Media Inquiries and Group Appearances 
One-on-One and Online Courses Available 



See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4389: Jeffrey Epstein's Default Expression

Body Language Analysis No. 4388: Donald Trump regarding Drowned Father and Daughter in the Rio Grande

Body Language Analysis No. 4387: Donald Trump Welcomes Foreign Interference in US Elections

Body Language Analysis No. 4386: Donald Trump and Ivanka Trump in Churchill's War Room

Body Language Analysis No. 4385: William Barr Testimony - Part II - Senate Judiciary Committee

Body Language Analysis No. 4384: William Barr's Testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee on 1 May 2019 - Part I

Body Language Analysis No. 4299: Bill Clinton confronted regarding Monica Lewinsky Affair

Body Language Analysis No. 4298: LeBron James Walks Out of Post Game Press Conference after Game One Loss


Body Language Analysis No. 4295: Elizabeth Holmes, Theranos, and Red Flags

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Monday, July 8, 2019

Body Language Analysis No. 4389: Jeffrey Epstein's Default Expression - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (PHOTOS)


Jeffrey Epstein was arrested on Saturday 6 July 2019 for allegedly sex-trafficking dozens of minors in Florida and New York between 2002 and 2005. He will appear in federal court in New York today. He's an American financier and registered sex offender. Epstein has multiple US residences, including one in the U.S. Virgin Islands. He was initially employed at the investment bank Bear Stearns - and left to start his own firm, J. Epstein & Co. As a hedge fund manager, he became a billionaire.

In 2008, Epstein was convicted of soliciting an underage girl for prostitution - for which he served thirteen months of a suspiciously lenient eighteen-month sentence. Moreover, he was allowed to spend twelve hours a day, six days a week outside of confinement, in his personal office, on a "work release". It's also important to note, he was not in prison - but rather when confined, he was in a private wing of a Palm Beach County, Florida jail.

Most all human beings have a default facial expression which is neutral - not Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein's face tends to adopt a peculiar default expression. What follows is a nonverbal analysis of this behavior.

The majority of people would say that Epstein is not smiling in the above image - even though his mouth corners are up-turned - and they would be 100% correct. The outside/lateral portions of his upper and lower lips are brought together - while the more anterior/medial aspects of his lips are pursed - and protruding mildly forward. Not surprisingly, this is known as a Forward Lip Purse.

A forward lip purse (not to be confused with a lateral lip purse) indicates the withholding of information (i.e., a clandestine disagreement and/or a hidden plan). In addition, a forward lip purse is only displayed when a person believes they have a good chance of success in carrying out their covert actions.

Only a person who perceives themselves to be an alpha/the dominant personality present displays a forward lip purse. A person in the midst of a beta emotional moment never makes this expression.

If one is expecting or presuming honesty, the presence of a forward lip purse should NEVER be displayed. In a marriage, a business partnership, in a courtroom witness, a politician, etc. - a forward lip purse is a profound red flag. This point cannot be overemphasized.

Note also, Epstein's eyes - they are partially closed. In particular, his lower eyelids are displaying some moderate degree of tension and his eyebrows are lowered. These eye-related findings indicate disagreement and a mild, but suppressed anger.

Take care not to confuse a forward lip purse with a lateral lip purse - for they have completely different meanings.


Contrast Epstein's lower eyelids in this second image with those in the first photo.

We see a concave-up furrow in each lower eyelid together with partially closed lids. Epstein's mouth still has the forward lip purse displayed along with the peculiar pressing together of his outer/lateral portions of his lips - although this characteristic is somewhat less pronounced in this example.

Most people would identify this as a smile - and they'd be correct. It's a true/sincere smile (a Duchenne Smile). Yet, crucially, sincerity does not indicate ethical motives. Because Epstein continues to display a forward lip purse - we know he is taking joy-happiness in his surreptitious plans.


This next image is similar to the previous one - but Epstein's smile is not as sincere (or possibly it's decrescendoing) - as his eyes are opened slightly wider and his superimposed forward lip purse is more pronounced. Note its somewhat spooky similarity to the Batman character's, The Joker's smile.

Whenever you see this expression - don't trust it.


In this fourth and final image, we again see Epstein again making a forward lip purse, however - similar to the first photo, his expression also has a component of anger. The downward tilt of his head and the further, tense closing of his eyelids - both indicate he's feeling angrier compared with the first example.

Epstein's lateral gaze - colloquially known as a Side Eye - is a classic gaze pattern shown by all human beings when we're looking at someone who we:

• Don't like
• Don't trust/don't believe
• Don't respect

Note too, the slightly greater tension of the tissue beneath his nose and above his upper lip (the mustache area). This finding is also consistent with anger.

Epstein's right head tilt (his right) could be his attempt at appearing sincere - a technique sometimes employed by sociopaths. Another highly possible etiology could be a congenital, left IV Cranial Nerve palsy (aka a Trochlear Nerve Palsy) - an ailment which is not uncommon.

SUMMARY:  Jeffrey Epstein's default expression, a Forward Lip Purse, indicates his withholding of information - that of a hidden plan and/or an undisclosed disagreement. In these images, the Billionaire believed himself to be alpha/dominant and those with whom he was interacting to be beta/subordinate. He was hyper-confident/arrogant in his belief of success in initiating and executing his furtive acts.

Everyday insincere default expressions are truly forms of living masks worn by "regular" people all around us - and yet these feigned feelings frequently go unrecognized.

It's crucial to emphasize that none of the expressions shown here are indications of - or correlate specifically with sex-related crimes.

Yet it's also important to stress, regardless of your endeavors - whether you're a playing Monopoly, speaking to your spouse, counseling a patient, cross-examining a witness, or negotiating with a criminal for the release of a hostage - when your opposition displays a forward lip purse - protect your flank.

Media Inquiries and Group Appearances 
One-on-One and Online Courses Available 


See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4388: Donald Trump regarding Drowned Father and Daughter in the Rio Grande

Body Language Analysis No. 4387: Donald Trump Welcomes Foreign Interference in US Elections


Body Language Analysis No. 4386: Donald Trump and Ivanka Trump in Churchill's War Room

Body Language Analysis No. 4385: William Barr Testimony - Part II - Senate Judiciary Committee - 1 May 2019

Body Language Analysis No. 4384: William Barr's Testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee on 1 May 2019 - Part I

Body Language Analysis No. 4382: Why is Donald Trump Leaning Forward?

Body Language Analysis No. 4381: Trump 'jokes' about staying in office for "at least for 10 or 14 years"

Body Language Analysis No. 4379: Katie Bouman, Black Holes, and Emotional Processing

Body Language Analysis No. 4360: GE's CEO Larry Culp's CNBC Interview and Subsequent Stock Sell-off


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Sunday, June 30, 2019

Body Language Analysis No. 4388: Donald Trump regarding Drowned Father and Daughter in the Rio Grande - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)




Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his toddler daughter, Angie Valeri drowned last week while trying to cross the Rio Grande River. Óscar and his family had journeyed from El Salvador - escaping violence and seeking refuge.

A photograph of Óscar and Valeria, side-by-side, her arm draped around his neck tragically humanizes the Central American diaspora. It reminds many of an iconic image of Aylan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian refugee, whose body washed up on Turkey's shores, near Bodrum, in 2015.

On 26 June 2019, President Trump was asked about their drowning and any possible ramifications this may have on his immigration policy. What follows is a partial nonverbal analysis of this exchange.


During 0:03, just after he says, "Yeah" (and just after the journalist begins his question, "Does the photo of the drowned immigrants cause you -"), Donald Trump displays a Tight Tongue Jut. A Tight Tongue Jut is a nonverbal sign of the thought-emotion of:

• Disgust
• Disdain
• Repulsion

(Take care not to mistake a Tight Tongue Jut for a Loose Tongue Jut or a Wide Open Tongue Jut)

Notice Trump's verbal language, "if they fixed the laws, you wouldn't have that". The word "they", in this context, is an example of distancing and misdirecting language - it's a form of paralanguage camouflage. Of course, the President is a component of "they".

Notice Trump's use of the word, "rapidity" to describe the flow rate of the river. A president is, of course, not expected to be a potamologist, however, the word "rapidity" is not a word most educated people commonly use to describe a river's rate of flow. And, while we all occasionally stumble for words, the President is doing so with increasing frequency. Note his use of the word "thee" (with a long e) just prior to the word, "rapidity". This vocal variation ("thee" rather than "the") is a common subconscious/edge-of-consciousness paralanguage stalling technique (along with the accompanying pause) often employed while searching for words. For a similar reason - that of scrambling/searching for a plausible explanation - use of "thee" is also associated with deception.


During 0:29, Trump's hand-arm illustrator is incongruent with his the gesture of "go(ing) through", "But people go through the guards"). Notice also his vocal emphasis on the word "through". This nonverbal-verbal-paralanguage disparity is an indication that Trump does not believe what he's saying. His anxiety-driven over-compensatory behavior is reminiscent of a hocus-pocus/Wizard of Oz - pay no attention to the man behind the curtain type of moment.

He displays a nearly identical gesture in a similar context later, during 1:04 - 1:06, as he says, "because that journey across that river" (Additionally, the word "journey" was also out of context here - yes, Óscar and his family were on a long journey, but a river crossing (aka a fording) is not a journey). 


Trump contracts his right index finger, just as he says, "If we had the right laws that - the Democrats are not letting us have", when only a second before - that finger had been extended (0:31). ( "If we had the right laws that - the Democrats are not letting us have - those people, they wouldn't be coming up - they wouldn't be trying"). This sudden finger dynamic tells us the President completely lacks confidence in what he has just said. As he retracts the most dominant digit of his dominant hand, he's attempting to deceive us.


Trump displays a hyper-alpha hand chop as he says, "wall" ("We're building the wall..."). This is one possible dominant gesture we would have expected him to use earlier, when he said, "But people go through the guards".


During 0:41, as he says, "lot" ("it's [sic] a lot of it is under construction"), Trump he torques his head (a sudden rotation combined with a tilt). In this context, it's accurately described as a Head-Fake. For while such a head torque is frequently a sign of emphasis and conviction - Trump quite often and deliberately uses it as a ruse. Note that he's simultaneously raising a single eyebrow - his left - projecting his disbelief at his own statement. This eyebrow dynamic is subconscious. Whenever conscious and subconscious nonverbals are used together - it's the subconscious ones which tell the true thought-emotions.

It's also profoundly important here - that Trump does not use his hands or arms to illustrate his verbal statements during this sub-segment. This sudden disappearance of his hands is another profound signal of his lack of conviction and honesty.


During 0:56, Trump bends significantly forward (at his waist) as his arms and hands rock forward in palm out-and-down configuration. This dynamic is a nonverbal metaphor - symbolic for pushing Óscar (the father) away.

Notice how the President not only grows louder as he says, "father", but he also verbally stretches-out the word. This is analogous to someone shouting in English to another person who only understands Spanish - Trump's nonverbal-verbal-paralanguage display is over-compensatory. Because he has a complete absence of empathy, he bends forward, shouts, and stretches the word. This is not a feigning of empathy - rather it's a short-circuit manifestation/behavior of a person who is NOT experiencing empathy

To a somewhat lesser extent, he repeats the same nonverbal, verbal, and paralanguage behavior - during 1:01, as he says, "Daughter".

The President performs a similar nonverbal display, earlier in this video, during 0:33 - 0:35, when he says, "Democrats are not letting us have".

Another manifestation of Trump's complete lack of empathy - is demonstrated by his distancing language of "father" and "his daughter" - rather than humanizing them by using their names: Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez - and Angie Valeria.
 

As he says "probably was this wonderful guy", Trump displays two consecutive unilateral eyebrow raises ("probably" [0:58] and "wonderful" [0:59]) - on his left side - each indicating Trump does not believe his own words. He also shakes his head, in a side-to-side, "No" motion. Whenever the nonverbal language contradicts the verbal language - it's the nonverbal which tells the truth.


Yet another left eyebrow raise is displayed again as Trump says, "happen" ("Things like that wouldn't happen", 1:03).


During 1:19 - 1:21, after he says "people drowning in the rivers" ("open borders mean crime and open borders mean people drowning in the rivers"), Trump uses a variation of a Finger-Point-Hand-Chop. A finger-point-hand-chop is correlated with Hyperbolic Defensiveness and Deception.

SUMMARY: Based on his nonverbal, verbal and paralanguage behavior used during this exchange, at no time, did President Trump display any empathy regarding the recent Rio Grande River drowning deaths of Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez and his young daughter, Angie Valeria.

An empathy expression requires a corners down-turned sadden mouth configuration together with an elevated central forehead.

The President also repeatedly lied during this video.

Contrary to his words, the President does NOT at all believe that Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez was, "probably was this wonderful guy". Moreover, Donald Trump is repulsed, disgusted by, and feels disdain toward the people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

Donald Trump does NOT believe that that "open borders mean crime" or that "open borders mean people drowning in the rivers".

The President does NOT believe that if the Democrats passed his proposed border/immigration legislation, that it would prevent mass immigration from Central America. 

President Trump is increasingly misunderstanding words and using terminology out of context. These are but two of his many symptoms strongly suggesting he has progressive dementia.


Media Inquiries and Group Appearances 
One-on-One and Online Courses Available 


See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4387: Donald Trump Welcomes Foreign Interference in US Elections


Body Language Analysis No. 4386: Donald Trump and Ivanka Trump in Churchill's War Room

Body Language Analysis No. 4385: William Barr Testimony - Part II - Senate Judiciary Committee - 1 May 2019

Body Language Analysis No. 4384: William Barr's Testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee on 1 May 2019 - Part I

Body Language Analysis No. 4382: Why is Donald Trump Leaning Forward?

Body Language Analysis No. 4381: Trump 'jokes' about staying in office for "at least for 10 or 14 years"

Body Language Analysis No. 4380: Tiger Woods Wins his first Masters in 14 years

Body Language Analysis No. 4360: GE's CEO Larry Culp's CNBC Interview and Subsequent Stock Sell-off

Body Language Analysis No. 4332: Richard Nixon, Nikita Khrushchev, and The Kitchen Debate


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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Body Language Analysis No. 4387: Donald Trump Welcomes Foreign Interference in US Elections - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)




Last week, ABC News released a portion of George Stephanopoulos' extended interview with President Trump. Additional segments were subsequently released. What follows is a partial nonverbal analysis of the initial video.

Throughout the Oval Office portion of this interview, the President is seated while Stephanopoulos remains standing. Although he has significant home field advantage, this dynamic places Trump at a significant detriment. This is particularly true since Stephanopoulos is shorter and thinner.


George Stephanopoulos also had one or both of his palms facing downward on the Resolute Desk during the majority of this interview. Additionally, Stephanopoulos was leaning mildly-to-moderately forward. This nonverbal posture further up-regulates his status to a relative alpha with the President assuming a relative beta position.

At no time does President Trump point his torso or any other part of his body fully toward Stephanopoulos. Sitting in the most powerful room in the World, with a profound home-field advantage, in the context of the two men being filmed for an interview, Trump's refusal to 'face his problems (here, Stephanopoulos' questions) head-on' sends strong signals of evasiveness, emotional discomfort, weakness, and deception to both his interviewer - and to the world.

George Stephanopoulos, of course, has another advantage. As a journalist, he has the rare experience of becoming accustomed to the Oval Office years prior to this interview during his tenure as the White House Communications Director and Senior Advisor to President Clinton. He also interviewed Presidents G.W. Bush and Barack Obama multiple times in that very room.

Notice too, the volume and tone of Stephanopoulos' speech. Although he questions the President with assertiveness, his vocal qualities tend toward friendliness - causing Trump to lower his guard. In the ensuing days, the President will be partially backpedaling.


Continuing at 0:58, George Stephanopoulos says, "Why does it bother you so much?"

Donald Trump answers, "Ah - because [long pause] it's untrue. I like the truth. You know I'm actually a very honest guy [quick inhale] If I thought they were correct - I [stammer] wouldn't be complaining at all ..."


In rapid succession, Trump looks down to his left, gazes to his center, pauses at length, then looks directly left, and next to his center, then up to his left.

President Trump's slow and hesitant response to this question is conspicuous. His darting gaze indicates that he was - first trying to formulate the syntax to an answer - then he was trying to recall an audio memory/answer to Stephanopoulos' question - and next trying to recall visual memory/answer to this question. These are all indications that the President was scrambling to answer a straightforward question.


Note that just after he says, "I like the truth" and as he is saying, "You know I'm actually a very honest guy" - he looks down and away from Stephanopoulos as he also closes his eyes.

His use of the word, "actually" in this context is also a tell. Properly used, "actually" is used to show contrast, emphasis, and 'in a distinction to'. Stephanopoulos didn't question his honesty here - he just asked (referring to the new poll results), "Why does it bother you so much?". So, why did Trump use the word "actually"? When a person says, "actually" - it's often used as a form of verbal backpedaling - and demonstrative of the speaker's emotional discomfort with their own answer (indicating hedging or deception). Moreover, taken in isolation, an unsolicited defense of one's honesty is a telltale sign of dishonesty. His honesty wasn't being questioned - why is he defending it?

Yet another indication of deception here, (whilst proclaiming his own honesty) - is Trump's audible inhale and very quick segue to his next sentence as he finishes saying, "You know I'm actually a very honest guy". He told a lie and, subconsciously, he wants to cover-up his deception by immediately proceeding to the next sentence. He does so too quickly. A person declaring their honesty (if it were even being questioned) would pause after saying it, letting their declaration (with a confident tone) hang in the air.


Note that during 1:45, the President hesitates before he calls his son a "young man" ("I mean I was reading that my son was gonna to go to jail, thisa [sic] good [pause] young man"). He looks down to his left in quick succession here (1:44, 1:45). This is the quadrant we often look toward when deciding on word choice and syntax. Donald Trump Jr. is 41 years old. Although the term, "young man" is slang, and, as with all slang, it means different things to different people, most of us would not describe a 41-year-old man as a "young man". The President's use of this description (which he has used on multiple occasions) is a psychological ploy attempting to soften public opinion and to excuse his son's alleged behavior.


As the President says, "And then the report comes out" (during 2:16 - 2:17), he rocks forward-and-backward in his chair. This signals the excessive motion of his lower extremities - indicating an adrenaline surge (flight or fight) and significant anxiety. Please watch the video, as this chair rocking dynamic cannot be captured in a still image.

Simultaneously, President Trump also stares into the middle distance while displaying a mild fear expression. His fear is particularly conveyed with his raised inner (medial) eyebrows.


During 2:33 - 2:35, the President gazes up to his left as he says, "I tell ya what, I've seen a lot of things over my life, I don't think in my whole life I've ever called the FBI." Looking up to one's left (more so for right-hand dominant people), is the quadrant to which we look when we're visually recalling an event. This eye gaze dynamic, in this context, indicates with high likelihood, that the President was visually remembering an occasion when he had called the FBI.


During 2:56, as he says, "The FBI director is wrong", he forms his lips in a dramatic configuration. Such hyperbolic mouth movements are quite common with Trump - and for all individuals in settings where they believe they're alpha/hyper-alpha to others who (or about whom) they're speaking. In this context, Trump's alpha projection could either apply to George Stephanopoulos, FBI director Christopher Wray, or both.


Beginning at 2:56, George Stephanopoulos asks, "Your campaign this time around, if foreigners, if Russia, if China, if someone else offers you information on an opponent, should they accept it or should they call the FBI?"

At the precise moment Stephanopoulos says, "Russia", Trump is simultaneously closing his eyes and swallowing hard. Trump's eyelid closure is a form of decreased eye contact - and a nonverbal manifestation of his attempt at distancing himself from the subject of his deception. The President's hard swallow demonstrates his dry and tightened throat triggered by his accompanying anxiety.


A nonverbal tell of profound importance occurs just after Stephanopoulos says, "Your campaign this time around, if foreigners, if Russia, if China, if someone else offers you information on an ..." - Trump displays what is known as a Forward Lip Purse (3:02 - 3:04). A forward lip purse (not to be confused with a Lateral Lip Purse) signals undisclosed disagreement and/or clandestine plans. A person who makes a forward lip purse always perceives themselves to be Alpha relative to those with whom they're interacting. They also believe they have a good chance of success with their plans.


This is Trump's Forward Lip Purse captured during the same split second from an anterior angle (on a different video available via twitter (4:04 - 4:06 https://twitter.com/ABC/status/1138936855573999616)  

Notice also, that the President is looking down to his left during this forward lip purse. This is the quadrant toward which we look when we're choosing our words and formulating syntax. Trump's word choice was telling, "I think maybe you do both. I think you might [pause] wanna listen. I don't - there's nothing wrong with listening..."

On such an important matter - if he truly believed his conduct was lawful, he should not say, "I think", rather he should say, "I know" or simply, "You'd want to listen." But he didn't. He wavered, saying, "I think." Additionally, he used the qualifier, "maybe" - and the slang, "wanna" (psychologically softening any opposition). Note also, his tone as he's says this, especially as he says, "there's nothing wrong with listening...". It's a pleading, rationalizing, whiny tone.

At other times during this video, President Trump makes multiple similar rationalizing and hedging statements with similar vocal tones, such as, "It's not an interference, they have information. I think I'd take it", and "If I thought there was something wrong I'd go maybe to the FBI - if I thought there was something wrong...", and "The FBI doesn't have enough agents to take care of it", and "they all do it, they always have and that's the way it is".


Moreover, just after Donald Trump says, "I think maybe you do both" - the camera view is switched and his expression briefly but clearly conveys a mild-to-moderate level of fear.


During 3:12, just after he says, "If somebody called", Trump exhibits what is known as a Loose Tongue Jut. A loose tongue jut indicates the thought-emotions of: "I've been bad", "I've been caught", "I've done something stupid" (Navarro).

Take care not to confuse a Loose Tongue Jut with a Tight Tongue Jut or a Wide Open Tongue Jut.

Summary: Despite clear and longstanding campaign finance law against such practice - and his subsequent partial backpedaling, President Trump's nonverbal, verbal, and paralanguage behavior displayed in the accompanying video, indicates that not only does Donald Trump believe receiving foreign intelligence on rival politicians is acceptable behavior - but the President is actively communicating with foreign government(s) and/or their surrogates in this capacity and plans to continue doing so.

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See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4386: Donald Trump and Ivanka Trump in Churchill's War Room

Body Language Analysis No. 4385: William Barr Testimony - Part II - Senate Judiciary Committee - 1 May 2019

Body Language Analysis No. 4384: William Barr's Testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee on 1 May 2019 - Part I

Body Language Analysis No. 4383: William Barr's 27 March 2019 Senate Testimony

Body Language Analysis No. 4382: Why is Donald Trump Leaning Forward?

Body Language Analysis No. 4381: Trump 'jokes' about staying in office for "at least for 10 or 14 years"

Body Language Analysis No. 4380: Tiger Woods Wins his first Masters in 14 years

Body Language Analysis No. 4379: Katie Bouman, Black Holes, and Emotional Processing

Body Language Analysis No. 4339: Pre-Confession Interview of Murderer, Chris Watts



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