Monday, January 14, 2019

Body Language Analysis No. 4371: "Mr. President ... have you ever worked for Russia? Yes or no?" - Donald Trump's Reaction - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)




On Monday 14 January 2019, President Trump addressed a press gaggle on the South Lawn of the White House prior to his travel to New Orleans. What follows is a partial nonverbal, verbal, and paralanguage analysis of a crucial portion of this event.

KRISTEN WELKER (beginning at 3:15): Mr. President, yes or no, have you or are you now, have you ever worked for Russia? Yes or no?

DONALD TRUMP: I never worked for Russia. And you know that answer better than anybody. I never worked for Russia. Not only did I never work for Russia, I think it's a disgrace that you even asked that question - because it's a whole big fat hoax. It's just a hoax. 


During 3:20, just as he says, "I" ("I never worked for Russia"), he closes both of his eyes. When people are denying an accusation - and they close their eyes while saying the pivotal word "I", it's highly correlative with deception. It's an attempt by the subconscious to distance itself from the lie.


Of profound importance is Trump's vocal emphasis as he says the word, "work" (during 3:26, "Not only did I never WORK for Russia"). Listen to him speak. An innocent person would have put the emphasis on the word, "Not" as well as "never". And also, importantly, an innocent person would have first answered, "No" - after all, the question was, "Mr. President, yes or no, have you or are you now, have you ever worked for Russia? Yes or no?"

Trump's emphasis on the word "work" is an example of his rationalization - e.g., Trump is trying to rationalize that he was/is not working for Russia - but doing something else - perhaps partnering with or conducting business.

Trump also may very well believe that he was not at all working with Russia - but with one man only - Vladimir Putin. Thus, he can deny the accusation.

Moreover, another crucial statement analysis tell is the word "for" ("I never worked for Russia" [twice], and "Not only did I never work for Russia"). In his rationalizing mind, Trump is saying, "I worked with Russia (Putin), but not for Russia (Putin) - I don't work for anyone except myself".


When, in the act of refuting a lie, if the accused gestures with a Finger-Point-Hand-Chop - it's a nonverbal signal which is highly correlative with guilt. This body language is exactly what President Trump displayed when responding to Kristen Welker's question.

There's even further nuance embedded in Trump's gesturing. Note how his elbow, shoulder, and wrist all remain bent. During his finger-point-hand-chop at Ms. Welker, none of the joints achieve anywhere near full extension. If Trump had believed his own words, he would have straightened his arm much further in this moment. Instead, the President, lacking confidence in his retort, keeps his arm close to his torso. The President often exhibits such camouflaged acquiescing behavior.

(Did you notice his eyes were again closed at this key moment?)


Another telling nonverbal display (seen during 3:34) is what is known as a Lip Curl as Trump says, "hoax" ("It's just a hoax").  Note how his lips are flaring and curled outward in this instant (captured in the image above).

A lip curl is a signal of:

• Braggadocio
• False Bravado
• Over-extended Hubris


He then Thrusts his Jaw outward, tilts his head-neck back, while rotating his head away from Ms. Welker, to his left and then back again to his right while staring into the middle-distance (3:35).

Like any person who is guilty, but attempting to look strong and in-control, Trump is oscillating back-and-forth between alpha and beta emotions.

Jaw-Thrusting-Head-Tilting is a sign of an adrenaline surge and indicates the thought-emotion of defiance. Intriguingly, this dynamic is extremely common in mug shots (e.g., "I'm going to beat the rap").


Trump then looks back to Ms. Welker as he displays a Loose Tongue Jut (3:37). This microexpression/near-microexpression tongue movement signals Trump's thought-emotions of:

• I've been caught
• I've been bad
• I've done a stupid thing


A split-second later (also during 3:37), Trump's chin again extends outward, but this time his head does not tilt back. This is also associated with an adrenaline surge, however, this indicates Anger (Did you notice the increased tension in his lower eyelids?).


Mr. Trump then displays strong Contempt toward Ms. Welker as his right mid-face contracts dramatically - while his jaw is still jutting forward (still during 3:37).

Another key feature of this entire exchange, is that President Trump never turns fully toward (he never Body Points) to Kristen Welker. While his head and eyes are turned toward the journalist - his shoulders and torso do not (and by inference - neither do his hips or feet). This is another sign of his beta behavior - and that the President does NOT have the confidence to fully confront this question/his accuser.

Moreover, two days earlier, during a phone interview on Fox News - when Jeanine Pirro asked Donald Trump, "Are you now or have you ever worked for Russia, Mr. President?", the President never answered the question. His failure to directly deny such accusations - even on a network that is extremely Trump-friendly, is particularly telling.

SUMMARY: Donald Trump's nonverbal, verbal, and paralanguage behavior displayed during this key moment earlier this week, all indicate that the President is lying - and that he did indeed "work for Russia" (Putin).

President Trump routinely retreats into beta mode while wearing an alpha facade. He's an ostrich pretending to be a T-Rex.


Group Appearances and One-on-One
Online Courses Available 


See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4370: Donald Trump, Fist-Pumping, and Vladimir Putin at 2017 G20

Body Language Analysis No. 4369: Donald Trump's Border Wall Oval Office Address

Body Language Analysis No. 4368: Donald's and Melania's Kiss in Iraq

Body Language Analysis No. 4364: Vladimir Putin's and Mohammed bin Salman's High Five at the 2018 G20

Body Language Analysis No. 4362: Mohammed bin Salman regarding the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

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

Body Language Analysis No. 4358: Donald Trump, Pseudo-Christianity, and the Not-So-Subliminal Cross

Body Language Analysis No. 4354: Mass Shooting at Pittsburgh Synagogue

Body Language Analysis No. 4316: Sarah Paulson, The Met Gala, and Madonna


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Body Language Analysis No. 4370: Donald Trump, Fist-Pumping, and Vladimir Putin at 2017 G20 - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)



In July of 2017, during the G20 Summit in Hamburg, a particularly intriguing body language display was captured during one of the dinners. It's quite surprising that this display did not receive more press coverage at the time. It indeed deserves close examination.



What follows is a partial nonverbal analysis of the nonverbal exchange between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin on that night. The relevant video segment is short and is looped several times within the news commentary video included here (begin at 0:46).


Donald Trump turns his face and torso toward Vladimir Putin and then points at the Russian President with the index finger of his right hand.


He then gestures back - with the same finger pointing to himself -


And then Trump points again at Putin.


Next, President Trump pumps his fist, up-and-down, twice -


And yet again, Trump points at Putin (a third time) - this time with his left index finger.

Does it raise your internal alarms when a person - who doesn't know you very well - uses words such as: "We", "Our", "Us", "Let's", etc.? It should. This fits into a type of verbal behavior known as "Forced Teaming" (de Becker) and it's a common technique overused by manipulative individuals. In scenarios which are out of context to mutual familiarity and/or agreement, such verbal forced teaming is an attempt at making another person feel as if they belong to the same clan, team, etc. If you subscribe to any group/belief system, then you'll be significantly more likely to follow established rules/orders - and much more apt to be manipulated.

If you know what to look for, you'll also spot concomitant paralanguage and nonverbal forced teaming analogs.

Donald Trump frequently points to people in a crowd, a member of Congress, or his cabinet. When he does so, it's a body language form of forced teaming. It makes the other person feel as if the president temporarily raises them to the level of a peer - even if they literally and logically know it's not actually true. This makes it significantly more difficult to say, "no" to him - and much more likely that he'll be successful at winning others over to his way of thinking.

However, Trump has never pointed at another person - particularly a head-of-state - and THEN pointed back at himself - until he did so here, with Putin. He proceeded to point back to Putin - and did so a total of three times. And profoundly, sandwiched between his second and third Putin-point was Trump's enthusiastic fist-pumps.

SUMMARY:  During the 2017 G20 Summit dinner in Hamburg, Germany - Donald Trump's repeated finger-pointing-fist-pumping gesturing toward Vladimir Putin indicates Trump's belief that he and Putin are on the same team - that they have solidarity - and that they are strong together.


Group Appearances and One-on-One
Online Courses Available 


See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4369: Donald Trump's Border Wall Oval Office Address

Body Language and Medical Analysis No. 4221: Why are Donald Trump's Pupils So Dilated?

Body Language Analysis No. 4367: Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer Argue in the Oval Office - The Border Wall and Government Shutdown

Body Language Analysis No. 4363: Ivanka Trump's GMA Interview

Body Language Analysis No. 4361: Donald Trump "Jokes" about leaving office

Body Language Analysis No. 4359: Trump and Putin in Paris

Body Language Analysis No. 4357: Donald Trump's response, "What a stupid question" 

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

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


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Thursday, January 10, 2019

Body Language Analysis No. 4369: Donald Trump's Border Wall Oval Office Address - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)



On Tuesday 8 January 2019, President Trump addressed the nation from the Oval Office regarding his proposed Wall at the US-Mexico border. What follows is a partial nonverbal analysis of this event.


As he began his Oval Office address, Donald Trump intertwined his fingers (0:06). For him, this hand/arm configuration is rare. He was probably following the advice of a speech coach. Some adopt this pose because they believe it looks strong and/or confident (which was Trump's intent in this moment).

However, depending on the other accompanying (simultaneous or nearly simultaneous) nonverbal signals - this hand configuration often transmits patronizing, condescending, and arrogant emotional tones - or it may signal frustration and/or anger.


This particular hand-over-hand dynamic (0:12) projects feelings of clandestine plotting and a hidden agenda.


Thus, it's no accident that Mr. Burns from The Simpsons also displays this same nonverbal behavior.


Donald Trump uses this Mid-level Steeple far too often (as well as the Low Steeple when he's sitting in a chair with no desk or table in front of him). When used this frequently, this (conventional) steeple strongly projects arrogance and an authoritarian emotional-tone (0:23).

Like all hyper-alpha nonverbal behaviors, anything more than a very little bit is far too much. Trump dramatically over-uses this body language. If he were well advised, the President would have been coached to display this signal for (at most) only about a half a second (if at all) - as he spoke (what he felt was) the most important word - of the most important sentence - of the entire address. Instead, this is very often the President's default hand position.

"While a pinch of garlic is just right, even a little bit more ruins the recipe." Piper Anne Twain


Trump displays an amalgam of Disgust and Anger is during 1:19 as he says, "Vietnam" ("... more Americans will die from drugs this year than were killed in the entire Vietnam War ...").


As he is saying, "... assaults, thirty thousand sex crimes, and four thousand violent ...", note the President is clasping his hands while he's rubbing his right thumb against his left thumb (1:34 - 1:40). This is another nonverbal dynamic rarely used by Trump - and indicates significantly elevated anxiety.


At numerous times during this address, the President raised one eyebrow (his left) indicating his disbelief in his own words. A particularly telling example is shown here (4:12) as he says the word, "request" ("... at the request of Democrats, it will be a steel barrier ...").


During 6:16, just after he says, "Hopefully we can rise above partisan politics in order to support national security", Donald Trump displays a classic Loose Tongue Jut indicating the thought-emotions of:

• I've been bad
• I've been caught
• I've done a stupid thing


Many people noted (and Tweeted) about The President's Dilated Pupils during his Oval Office address (image above was a screenshot from 6:08). Everyone who has been monitoring Donald Trump's pupils closely would have observed these to be Dilated:

• Intermittently
• Equally (or very nearly so)
• Often Extremely (at other times they have been dilated even larger than shown here)
• In a pattern repeated many times over years 

Of course, with bright camera lights (or even routine, ambient, indoor lighting), we would expect anyone's pupils to be much smaller.


Note how dilated Trump's pupils are in this image from 2017.


At numerous times the President also exhibited deep nasal inhalations (e.g., 9:15).

SUMMARY: Simple fact-checking of Tuesday's Oval Office address reveals numerous examples of deception. In addition, President Trump's nonverbal behavior indicates he was experiencing the thought-emotions of frustration, anger, disgust, and a high level of anxiety.

Moreover, the President's pupils were significantly dilated. From a medical standpoint, his long-term pattern of bilateral, intermittent pupillary dilation is profound. It's not at all subtle or to be easily dismissed - on the contrary, it is glaring. Sirens Blaring. Red flashing lights.

Noel Casler (a comedian and former crew member from the Celebrity Apprentice) reports that Donald Trump had a habit of crushing Adderall and snorting it. There are, of course, other drugs which can cause pupils to be dilated (see link below).

While there are rare diseases/conditions which may cause such an intermittent, extreme, pupillary dilation, and I have not examined the President directly, any qualified ophthalmologist will tell you that a patient exemplifying these characteristics would be highly suspected of illicit drug abuse (I invite everyone to refute or confirm these medical findings - particularly those physicians with neuro-ophthalmology expertise). This medical principle stands on its own, however when coexisting with the President's prevalent and repeated deep inhalations, Occam's razor leads us - and the safety of the world necessitates us - to demand immediate action. A full and public medical evaluation of the President must be undertaken.

Here's the Rub: when someone we like and/or trust - exhibits similar nonverbal behavior (e.g., in everyday scenarios) - if we fall victim to our confirmation bias - would most people then be able to spot the lie? His insincerity? Her manipulation? The Answer: Most of the time, No - we would be blind to it. Objectivity matters. Critical thinking matters. Beware of confirmation bias - when evaluating your own, your adversaries', or your friends' actions, proposals, and opinions.

See also:

Body Language and Medical Analysis No. 4221: Why are Donald Trump's Pupils So Dilated?

Body Language Analysis No. 4368: Donald's and Melania's Kiss in Iraq

Body Language Analysis No. 4367: Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer Argue in the Oval Office - The Border Wall and Government Shutdown

Body Language Analysis No. 4364: Vladimir Putin's and Mohammed bin Salman's High Five at the G20

Body Language Analysis No. 4362: Mohammed bin Salman regarding the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

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

Body Language Analysis No. 4359: Trump and Putin in Paris

Body Language Analysis No. 4107: Paul Manafort, Robert Mueller, Russian Oligarchs, and Donald Trump

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


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Thursday, December 27, 2018

Body Language Analysis No. 4368: Donald's and Melania's Kiss in Iraq - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (PHOTOS)




Donald Trump and Melania visited the Al Asad Air Base in Iraq on Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. It was the President's first visit to a military base in a war zone. While there, the President and First Lady shared a rare public kiss. What follows is a nonverbal analysis of that kiss as captured in the accompanying photograph (and the cropped close-up below).

Most children can probably tell you that Donald's and Melania's kiss-embrace does not look to be at all affectionate.

Note how Donald Trump is leaning quite far into the kiss. He is leaning forward 20º - 25º, while Melania is leaning in only about 5º.

Whenever affection is lacking or diminished - and one still feels socially obligated to kiss or hug another person - one or both people will virtually always lean forward. The President is a fair amount taller than his wife (His true height is about 6' 0.5" [add another 1" with his shoes], while Melania's actual height is about 5' 6" [and with about 2.5 inches more in her boot heels]). Thus, although both can lean-into a kiss, with all other factors being equal (which may or may not be), the taller person typically leans further into a kiss or hug.

Notice too, the angle of their heads and necks - each of their heads are tilted backward, away from each other. Moreover, affectionate embraces will have very frequently exhibit contact of the forehead, temple, and/or region around the eye with these same regions on the other person's face/head.

You may have also noticed that Donald Trump's torso is twisted a bit toward the audience. While Melania's torso and stomach are pointed directly at her husband, his are rotated to his left. Full body pointing is a signal of affection and/or respect - while not doing so indicates a lack of thereof.

Full body pointing (eyes, face, chest, stomach, pelvis, etc.), of course, also includes the feet. And, while we can't see them directly (and therefore, cannot discern where they're pointed), we can infer with fairly high accuracy, that her feet are directly beneath her center of mass - while his left foot is considerably further back compared with his body.

Leaning into a hug or kiss allows the lower body to be further away from the other person - insulating them from intimacy. In such pseudo displays of affection - the further two people's feet are from their hugger, the less affection is present. 

Note that Donald's and Melania's pelvic regions and chests are far apart. Holding each other's upper arms, as they each are doing, ensures such body distancing.

It's interesting to notice that both of their hands are not relaxed. His grip appears to be relatively tight - and this is, in part, due to his center-of-mass being considerably forward (he's a bit off-balance). Sometimes gripping another person's arm in the midst of a hug or kiss is not at all affectionate and can be even a signal the presence of objectifying and/or narcissistic personality traits. There is not enough information in this one image to draw those conclusions, however.

The First Lady's fingers and thumb are all quite widely splayed. This finger position signals a high adrenaline state - and while, kissing on camera with all the world watching (albeit, tape-delayed) is not the perfect environment for intimacy, the First Lady's fingers are not what we would, at all, expect to see amidst even a mild affection display. Her fingers betray her anxiety.

Thus, while his hand-fingers are contracted - hers are widely extended and splayed. Neither of their hands are relaxed - but configured oppositely. Fascinatingly, when one's hands are tense, the face - particularly the mouth - is almost always tense too.


Kissing styles (whether a peck, a longer lips-only kiss, a French kiss, etc.), vary from person to person, but it's also quite true that, like the leaning-in of the body, the further the lips protrude forward, the less affection exists. 

Another obvious (nay, glaring) characteristic of this kiss's lack of affection is Melania's turned cheek. This kiss is not even a lip peck. Between spouses, this simply screams. This nonverbal signal is so overt and ingrained in our culture that this dynamic is a millennia-old metaphor for dissing, distancing, disrespect - signaling an absence of affection. 

The President's eyes (eyelids) appear to be slightly open - his lower eyelids are relaxed which strongly suggests such lack of closure. Melania's right eye may also be a bit open, although given her head rotation, this is impossible to tell. When affection is present, there is a strong tendency toward eyelid closure - although, in such public settings, many will also keep their peepers partially open.

SUMMARY: Donald Trump's and Melania's recent kiss-embrace in Iraq is profoundly lacking in affection. And although very few us will ever kiss with the world watching, this display was light-years away from what one would expect of loving and affectionate spouses.


Group Appearances and One-on-One
Online Courses Available 


See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4367: Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer Argue in the Oval Office - The Border Wall and Government Shutdown

Body Language Analysis No. 4363: Ivanka Trump's GMA Interview

Body Language Analysis No. 4361: Donald Trump "Jokes" about leaving office 

Body Language Analysis No. 4359: Trump and Putin in Paris

Body Language Analysis No. 4357: Donald Trump's response, "What a stupid question"

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

Body Language Analysis No. 4336: Alita: Battle Angel, Large Eyes, and Sexual Attraction

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

Body Language Analysis No. 4309: The Little Girl in Red, "Tender Age" shelters, and Empathy


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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Body Language Analysis No. 4367: Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer Argue in the Oval Office - The Border Wall and Government Shutdown - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)




On Tuesday 11 December 2018, Donald Trump met with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer in the Oval Office. Among many things, President Trump said, "... If we don't get what we want - one way or the other - whether it's through you - through a [sic] military - through anything you wanna call, I will shut down the government, absolutely" and "I am proud to shut down the government ..." as well as "... I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down ...".

A partial shutdown of the federal government began on 12:01 AM on Saturday, 22 December 2018. The reason for shutdown arises from President Trump's insistence on 5 billion dollars to fund a border wall - a demand which the Democrats refuse. What follows is a partial nonverbal analysis of some of the behavior exhibited during this televised Oval Office meeting.


During 5:33 just after he says, "Nancy, would you like to say something?", the President displays a Tight Tongue Jut - signifying his disdain, disgust, and repulsion for the future Speaker of the House.


During 5:57, just after he repeats Nancy Pelosi's coined nomenclature, "The Trump Shutdown", the President displays a classic contempt expression.


During 6:50, Donald Trump employs a common hyper-dominant nonverbal maneuver when interrupting Nancy Pelosi - an outstretched arm with a finger-spayed-palm-down hand gesture (illustrator).

Note Pelosi's restraint - as she grips her right hand, holding herself back.


A few seconds later (6:55), after interrupting Representative Pelosi multiple times, just after President Trump says "... Nancy, I'd have it passed in two seconds ...", Nancy Pelosi momentarily sequesters all of the fingers on her right hand - save one, her middle finger.

This behavior is an excellent example of what is known as a Partial Emblematic Slip. (Partial, because the straightened middle finger is not in it's usual, full-fledged-arm-held-upright position. Emblematic, because the meaning of an extended middle finger is known the world over. And Slip, because it's a subconscious act).

In this moment, the future Speaker of the House is very much (albeit subconsciously) flipping off the President in the Oval Office.


Beginning at 6:54, Trump says, "It doesn't matter though because we can't get it passed it the Senate because we need ten Democrat votes, that's the problem". Then, during 6:58, as he says the word, "votes", Trump falsely adjusts his suit jacket with his right hand. This signifies the President's anxiety - and more specifically, an anxiety-provoked attempt at alpha up-regulation. Another way to think of this is we are seeing an alpha personality, who is temporarily more beta - and he's trying to dial himself back up to his alpha status. Once again, it's crucial that this is occurring in the Oval Office.


During 7:36, just after President Trump says, "Okay, let me ask you this - and we're doing this in a very friendly manner", Nancy Pelosi displays an insincere mouth smile as she also closes her eyes (eyelids). This is dismissive - and signals strong disagreement with the President's assertion of conducting himself in a "friendly manner".

Note the President uses the contraction, "we're" - when it is him alone who is "doing this". Such language is an excellent paralanguage tell (statement analysis) of what is known as Diffusion of Responsibility or Forced Teaming (de Becker) (a manipulative technique Trump uses often).


Beginning at 8:02, after Pelosi says, "The fact is you do not have the Votes in the House", Trump begins his retort, "Nancy, I do ...". Note that during 8:04, Pelosi's palm-up gesture is simultaneous with Trump's palm-down configuration. Her body language is much more rapport-building - while his nonverbals are rapport destroying.


At 8:14, Trump says, "People are pouring into our country, including terrorists" - he gestures with his index finger (aka forefinger). Notice that other fingers are not fully retracted. This alone demonstrates a lack of conviction.


Then, during 8:17 - 8:18, as he says, "We caught ten terrorists over the last very short period of time", Trump contracts his right index finger, when only seconds before he had been pointing with it with the other fingers curled. This sudden change in dynamic (the complete opposite digit configuration) strongly telegraphs his deception. Trump completely lacks confidence in what he just said as he retracts the most dominant digit of his dominant hand.



During 8:23, Donald Trump extends his right leg moving closer to Nancy Pelosi and sits closer to the edge of his chair. This aggressive posture and alpha dynamic cause her anxiety as she leans away from him and she repositions herself on the sofa.


During 8:33 the President says, "We need border security of which the wall is just a piece, but it's - important". During the end of his sentence ("but it's - important"), Trump displays a hyper-alpha, double index finger point.


And as Nancy Pelosi begins to speak again - he cuts off her response by immediately pointing to Senator Schumer with his right hand saying, "Chuck, did you want to say something?"


After Senator Schumer referenced The Washington Post, President Trump clearly displayed Contempt (8:54 - 8:56).


Donald Trump displays a Forward Lip Purse immediately after Chuck Schumer says, "We do not want to shut down the government" (8:58 - 8:59 - and later during 9:01 - 9:03, 9:16). Note Schumer then uses an Index Finger Point vectored toward the President, as he says, "You have called twenty times to shut down the government ...".

Trump telegraphs his thoughts every time he displays this body language behavior (something he does quite often). A forward lip purse indicates dramatic disagreement which is not being fully verbally expressed. Such disagreement is often quite clandestine. Their plans may be disclosed only a moment later - but often not for days or weeks (or longer). A person who uses a forward lip purse views themselves as the unequivocal alpha in the room. Additionally, anyone who uses this lip dynamic believes that they have a good chance of being successful with their plans.

The take-home lesson: if you see anyone use a forward lip purse - protect your flank.


10:14 - Trump is projecting his hands forward - forming a nonverbal wall between himself and his two adversaries - while Pelosi's hand right hand is open and upward (as she is speaking about keeping the government open) - and Schumer's hands are clasped in frustration.


10:17 - Pelosi then, defensively, pushes back against Trump with a similar palm forward gesture - although with a just a single hand.


11:09 - Trump displays a bilateral False Jacket Adjustment with a simultaneous Loose Tongue Jut. By straightening his suit jacket when it wasn't needed - the President is attempting to up-regulate his alpha status (he feels relatively beta and believes he needs to dial up his alpha). This is very similar behavior to when a gorilla is beating on his chest.


At 11:22 Sarah Huckabee Sanders can be seen displaying Contempt after Senator Schumer says, "and the experts say you can do border security without a wall which is wasteful and doesn't solve the problem."


Beginning at 13:37 Trump continues, "... I also know, that ya know Nancy's in a situation where it's not easy for her to talk right now - and I understand that - and I fully understand that. We're going to have a good discussion and we're going to see what happens ..."

Pelosi responds with, "... Mr. President, please don't characterize the strength that I bring to this meeting ..."  - as she uses a Fingers-Together-Palms-Down gesture (13:54).


Pelosi then segues into an Aggressive/Alpha Index Finger Point as she continues, "... as the leader of the House Democrats" - while the President is simultaneously displaying a mild expression of Contempt.


As Nancy Pelosi says, "... This is about the security of our country. You take an oath to protect and defend and we don't want to have that mischaracterized by anyone ...", she also nonverbally reminds everyone of the Oath as holds her hand upright.

Donald Trump, at the same time, performs another false jacket adjustment (see above) and then crosses his arms in a fist hidden fashion (14:23). Virtually every time Donald Trump crosses his arms, he does so in a hands-hidden fashion - with his hands forming fists. This nonverbal configuration projects a beta soup of emotions:

• Closed-mindedness
• Defensiveness
• Low emotional comfort
• Low confidence

In addition, the President immediately looks downward - the direction of gaze most often displayed during guilt and shame.


Senator Schumer grips his right wrist with his left hand (14:50) in a moment of self-restraint.


As Schumer verbally refutes Trump - he displays what is known as a Pistol Steeple. This nomenclature is accurate not only because the hand configuration physically resembles a gun - but also because it's used when a person is in strong disagreement with another - metaphorically shooting down what they're saying/proposing (as Schumer says, "... No, no, no. Twenty times, twenty times, twenty times, you have called for ...").


Schumer then pounds his right fist onto his left palm as the Senator quotes the President's threats to shut down the government (15:01 - 15:03) if he doesn't get his wall.

Note that this makes Trump feel beta (again, while in the Oval Office) - and his psyche responds with yet another attempt at alpha-upregulation via a false jacket adjustment.


After pointing at Schumer, "You wanna know something? ...", Trump then points at his own chest, "... Okay you want to put that on my ..." (pointing first with his left [less dominant] hand) ...


... and again during 15:07 - although this time he curiously points at his own throat. Throat pointing at oneself implies an ominous omen.


As the President goes on to say, "You know what I'll say, Yes. If we don't get what we want - one way or the other - whether it's through you, through a [sic] military, through anything you wanna call - I will shut down the government - absolutely. And I am proud, and I'll tell ya what. I am proud to shut down the government ...", Schumer again displays a self-restraining wrist grab - thus down-ratcheting his responses.

At first glance, a casual observer may think that Trump is holding his own hands in the same manner as Schumer - however, Trump's hand-clasping-hand display (rather than hand-grabbing-wrist) signifies a completely different set of emotions. The President, while in the Oval Office, is configured in what is known as a Fig-Leaf (aka Genital Guarding). This is a significantly beta posture - for, despite the President's bluster, he feels vulnerable and in need of protection.


The President then goes on to say to Senator Schumer, "I will take the mantle" as well as, "I'm not going to blame you for it".

Throughout this last exchange with Schumer (15:19 - 15:48), Trump holds his upper arms close to each side of his torso. Trump displays this particular nonverbal behavior often - however, here it is particularly glaring. If he had sincere confidence in his statements, the President would hold his upper arms and elbows out several inches. His words do not, at all, match his body language. This beta posture once again betrays Trump's lack of confidence

SUMMARY: Donald Trump's nonverbal behavior clearly shows that he does, indeed, believe the wall is important - however, for his own political survival, not for the country's safety. During this Oval Office interaction, the President exhibited multiple beta emotional displays of low confidence, defensiveness, closed-mindedness. He also was being deceptive when said, "We caught ten terrorists over the last very short period of time".

President Trump also fears Representative Pelosi a good bit more than he does Senator Schumer. Moreover, Trump thought Pelosi was the most skilled politician in the Oval Office on that day.

Among other problems, Donald Trump has Impulse Control Disorder. And, whether Senator Schumer realizes it or not, he very much baited the President. Trump took the bait and quickly painted himself into a corner.


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See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4364: Vladimir Putin's and Mohammed bin Salman's High Five at the G20

Body Language Analysis No. 4362: Mohammed bin Salman regarding the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

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

Body Language Analysis No. 4358: Donald Trump, Pseudo-Christianity, and the Not-So-Subliminal Cross

Body Language Analysis No. 4356: Donald Trump: "When I can, I tell the truth"

Body Language Analysis No. 4354: Mass Shooting at Pittsburgh Synagogue

Body Language Analysis No. 4352: Donald Trump, Mohammed bin Salman, and Journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Body Language Analysis No. 4350: Ashley Kavanaugh during Brett Kavanaugh's Swearing-in Ceremonies for the Supreme Court

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


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