Sunday, January 14, 2018

Body Language Analysis No. 4177: DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen regarding Donald Trump's "Shithole Countries" Statement - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Note: The original video has, since the original post, been removed from its online source. The images below however, were captured from this video.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was a guest on Fox News Sunday earlier today. What follows is a partial nonverbal analysis of a crucial portion of that interview.

With the exception of only two seconds (3:40 - 3:42), during the entire time Ms. Nielsen is on camera, her hands are in her lap and not gesturing (Illustrating). As the camera is directed at her face and upper torso - and we can see that her upper arms do not move at all. In this context, a lack of hand-arm gesturing is strongly correlative with anxiety. More specifically, keeping one's hands hidden (beneath a table, in one's pocket's, etc.) during a verbal denial is strongly indicative of deception.

Also during this entire segment, Ms. Nielsen's upper torso was blushing dramatically. Such vasodilation is highly correlative with anxiety - and more specifically - shame and embarrassment. It's signaling she feels "something is out of place".

Now note how much more her upper chest blushes - along with her face - just after she says, "... or a quota of Norway for example ..." (3:41).


CHRIS WALLACE (beginning during 0:33): Secretary, you were in that meeting in the Oval Office, did the President say that?

SECRETARY NIELSEN: I don't recall him saying that (slight pause) exact phrase, ah ...

During 0:39, as she says, "... saying that ...", Secretary Nielsen displays a Sincere Smile. This is a quintessential display of smiling out of context - and here, more specifically, this is known as "Duping Delight" (Ekman). This behavior is a nonverbal phenomenon signaling the presence of true joy experienced in the act of perpetrating a lie (the belief one has done so).


CHRIS WALLACE (beginning during 1:16): I, I don't understand, I, I'm goin' to just press back once on this subject. Ah, a, a, it seems to me - you were in the meeting when these comments were made - I can understand you either saying they said - or they were not said - it is pretty shocking language - and to say, "I don't recall", seems implausible. If the President of the United States used the word, "Blankhole", talking about countries in the Oval Office - or didn't say it - I would know.

SECRETARY NIELSEN: I, I [stuttering] I understand the question, it was an impassioned conversation, I don't recall that specific phrase being used - that's all I can say about that.

During 1:49 another (less pronounced) example of duping delight is seen, as the Secretary says, "I don't recall that specific phrase being used - that's all I can say about that."

Two seconds later, during 1:51, the Secretary displays a Hard Swallow followed by a Prolonged Blink. These are not able to be properly observed on a still image - please watch the video to see this behavior in dynamic context. 

Chris Wallace points out that by saying "I don't recall" (which Secretary Nielsen says twice) is "implausible" (his word). And, to thin-slice this from a statement analysis perspective, this phrase is extraordinarily rarely spoken in the context of truthfulness. Moreover, it's a red flag for deliberate efforts at plausible deniability.

In addition, Secretary Nielsen's use of "that exact phrase" and "that specific phrase" are additional statement analysis (paralanguage) qualifiers which, while are attempts at establishing wiggle room - aid in betraying her guilt.

Summary: DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen's nonverbal, verbal, and paralanguage behavior in this video indicate, with extremely high probability, that was lying when she said, "I don't recall" - referring to allegations that President Trump referred to Haiti and African countries as "Shithole Countries".

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See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4176: Donald Trump's "Shit Countries" Comment, Emmanuel Mensah, and Alisyn Camerota

Body Language Analysis No. 4174: Donald Trump Regarding Meeting with Robert Mueller

Body Language Analysis No. 4172: Donald Trump During National Anthem at Alabama vs. Georgia College Football Game

Body Language Analysis No. 4170: Stephen Miller's and Jake Tapper's Confrontational Exchange

Body Language Analysis No. 4165: Kim Jong-un's New Years Faux Pas

Body Language Analysis No. 4152: Ruby Rose and her Mother's (Overgrown) Pig

Body Language Analysis No. 4133: Vladimir Putin's Default Face

Body Language Analysis No. 4090: Harvey Weinstein, Sexual Assault, and Impulse Control Disorder

Body Language Analysis No. 4078: Toddler Steals Prince Harry's Popcorn