Thursday, October 18, 2018

Body Language Analysis No. 4353: The Murder of Jamal Khashoggi and Trump's Defense of Saudi Arabia - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

The following is a partial nonverbal analysis of President Trump's 17 October 2018 statement regarding Saudi Arabia and murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

Beginning at 0:52, just after a journalist says, "Are you surprised that they haven't - turned it over, or -?" Trump then pauses, looks up and to HIS left and then answers, "No. Ah, I'm not sure yet that it exists - probably does, possibly does".

As still images do not capture the dynamics, please take the time to view this behavior on the video.

The upper left quadrant (his upper left) is the direction to which the vast majority of right-handed people look during moments when recalling a visual memory (0:54 - 0:55).

If the President was, in his mind's-eye, imagining if such a video did exist and what it might contain - or if he knew an audio/video existed but he had not yet heard/viewed it, Trump would have looked to HIS upper right - the quadrant to which we gaze when visually constructing a scene which we haven't witnessed.

While this gaze-associated epiphenomenon is not true 100% of the time, if a particular person's behavior has been studied in association with how they respond with verifiable and undisputed past and future events (e.g., Their behavior has been normalized [aka normed]) - it is highly reliable. After thousands of evaluations, Trump's gaze-associated behavior reliably fits this pattern.

Thus, in this context, this specific nonverbal dynamic indicates that, with very high probability, United States authorities have acquired the audio and/or video recording in question - AND, importantly, Trump has heard/seen the audio/video of Jamal Khashoggi's torture and killing.

If you listen carefully, you'll also notice the diminished volume - as well as the higher pitch of the President's voice as he says the word, "No" (0:55). This paralanguage pattern is strongly associated with deception.

Now, let's backtrack and scrutinize a particularly interesting statement analysis tell. Beginning at 0:00, Trump says, "I'm not giving cover at all. Ah, with that being said, Saudi Arabia's been - a very important ally - of ours in the Middle East - 'n' we are - stopping Iran - we're not trying to stop, we're stopping Iran. We won a big step where we took away that ridiculous deal that was made by the previous administration ..."

The phrase, "with that being said", is a commonly-used preface in an effort to present a counter-argument. It's a phrase which is intended to show that the speaker is being transparent and presenting both sides of an argument. It's an attempt at - at least appearing to be objective. Trump, in fact, often uses these words in just such a manner. But not so here.

In this case, his use of the phrase, "with that being said" is peculiar and out of place - for, after saying, "I'm not giving cover at all" - he goes on to cite a reason why the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States is valuable (the mutual effort against Iran). The second portion of his statement is considered by most to be geopolitically valid. But this isn't an opposite point of view and it's dramatically out of place. Thus, because Trump's ally-against-Iran-argument follows his words, "with that being said" - it indicates that the President feels that the first declaration of, "I'm not giving cover at all" - is false. Trump believes he's lying - and he is.

Notice how, through a good portion of this video, Trump clasps his right (dominant) hand with his left. This is a considerably atypical hand-arm configuration for President Trump. It's a particular MAP (Manipulator-Adaptor-Pacifier) that is a form of self-touching and self-comforting indicating his heightened anxiety.

Trump then defaults into one of his common configurations - of crossing his arms. More specifically, the vast majority of the time (and as exemplified here), when he crosses his arms, Trump does so with his hands clenched and hidden.

This nonverbal display is projecting his beta emotions of:

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

Additionally, notice how the President leans to his left, in-effect rocking himself in another attempt at self-soothing when he says, "... the previous administration ..." (0:15 - 0:16).

SUMMARY: President Trump's nonverbal and paralanguage behavior displayed in this video indicates that, with extremely high probability, the United States has acquired (on or before 17 October 2018), at least in part, audio and/or video of Jamal Khashoggi's torture and murder. Moreover, Donald Trump has heard and/or seen it, and, contrary to his statement, the President is covering for the Saudis. 

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See also:

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. 4348: Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearings - Part II

Body Language Analysis No. 4346: Brett Kavanaugh's Fox News Interview

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. 4318: Jim Jordan regarding Allegations of Ignoring Knowledge of Sexual Abuse at Ohio State

Body Language Analysis No. 4312: South Korea Defeats Germany at The World Cup