Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Body Language Analysis No. 4233: Donald Trump Regarding His Firing of Rex Tillerson - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

On Tuesday morning, President Trump fired Rex Tillerson. The US Secretary of State found out via Twitter. The video above features Donald Trump fielding questions from the press on the South Lawn of the White House later in the morning. What follows is a partial nonverbal analysis of a few key moments of this exchange.

Beginning at 0:55, President Trump continues, "... and - as far as Rex - Tillerson is concerned - I very much appreciate his commitment and his service - and I wish him well. He's a good man Ω ."

Just after he says, "He's a good man", the President displays a classic expression of disgust (during 1:05). Note carefully his mouth configuration as well as the tension in his mid-face (mustache region) as well as flaring of his nostrils.

Although not a required component of disgust, his momentary eyelid tension and mildly increased eyelid closure are disgust amplifiers.

This moment is captured in the image immediately above.

Only a second later, during 1:06, Donald Trump displays a Tight Tongue Jut.

A tight tongue jut (not to be confused with a Loose Tongue Jut or a Wide Open Tongue Jut) projects feelings of Disgust, Disdain, and Repulsion.

In response to a journalist's question (beginning at 1:08), "Mr. President, what did you say to Rex Tillerson?"

Donald Trump answered, "Ah, Rex and I have been talking about this for a long time. Ah, we we, got along, actually, quite well §- but we disagreed on things..."

President Trump's fingers forward, palm-down, medial-to-lateral (moving outward) hand sweep (visible at the lower left-hand side of the screen), during 1:13, just after he says, "... Ah, we ...", is a dismissive gesture (Illustrator) and is contradictory to what he's about to say - "we, got along, actually, quite well ..."

During 1:16, just before he says, "... but we disagreed on things ...", President Trump displayed a quintessential Tongue-in-Cheek display. In this cluster-context, a tongue in cheek behavior indicates the Smug/Schadenfreude thought-emotion of I Just Won.

From a paralanguage/statement analysis perspective, the President's use of the word, "actually" (1:14 - 1:15) in this context is a back-peddling qualifier and a signal Trump is trying too hard to convince us. His Tongue-in-Cheek display, following only a second later is an example of paralanguage-nonverbal coupling/clustering.

Summary: Donald Trump's nonverbal behavior indicates he has disgust, disdain, and repulsion for Rex Tillerson. In addition, President Trump displays significant Smugness/Schadenfreude for his act of firing Secretary Tillerson - revealing Trump's behavior is not objectively driven, rather he's operating from a personal-motive reference frame.

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See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4232: Betsy DeVos' 60 Minutes Interview

Body Language Analysis No. 4230: Kim Jong-un, Donald Trump, and the Home Field Advantage

Body Language Analysis No. 4228: Kim Jong-un's "Smile"

Body Language Analysis No. 4226: Roger Stone, Donald Trump, and Wikileaks

Body Language Analysis No. 4224: Greta Gerwig's reaction to Guillermo del Toro's Best Picture Oscar Speech

Body Language Analysis No. 4209: Emma Gonzalez, Florida HS Shooting, and Emotional Processing

Body Language Analysis No. 4194: Tom Brady, "Why Does Everyone Want Me To Retire So Bad?"

Body Language Analysis No. 4183: Aly Raisman, Larry Nassar, and USA Gymnastics

Body Language Analysis No. 4111: Selena Gomez, Francia Raisa, and a Kidney Transplant