Sunday, November 11, 2018

Body Language Analysis No. 4358: Donald Trump, Pseudo-Christianity, and the Not-So-Subliminal Cross - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

I've analyzed Donald Trump's behavior thousands of times (over 400 of these analyses are published) - but this one stands out.

On Friday, on his way out to Marine One, Trump held a press gaggle on the South Lawn of the White House. He spoke about several subjects - one of which was Matt Whitaker.

What follows is a partial nonverbal analysis of two key moments of Trump's exchange.

DONALD TRUMP (continuing at the 3:27 mark in the above video): I didn't speak to Matt Whitaker about it. I don't know Matt Whitaker. Matt Whitaker has a great reputation and that's what I wanted.

I also wanted to do something which, frankly, I could have brought somebody very easily from the outside. I didn't wanna do that.

When Sessions left, what I did - very simply is - take a man who worked for Session

During 3:46 - 3:47, as he says, "... is take a man who worked for Session [sic]", Trump very clearly gestures with his right hand - and, as if he were Christian clergy giving a sermon - traces the sign of the Cross.

Holding his right hand in a vertical plane, he first gestures upward.

Maintaining this vertical planar configuration, he then moves his right hand downward.

His hand then comes back up - very deliberately - returning to the center of the cross.

Next, he then gestures to his left.

And then finishing this religious nonverbal metaphor by moving his right hand to his right. 

Please watch the video, as these still images do not capture the dynamics of this behavior.

It's important to note that some Christian denominations traditionally gesture first to their left and then to their right, while others finish their crossing gesture in a right-to-left fashion.

Make no mistake, the President deliberately displayed this very clear sequence of gestures. Trump has never exhibited this unmistakable and classic Christian behavior in public since he announced his candidacy on 16 June 2015.

Now, go back a few seconds (3:42). The President proceeds through another unusual nonverbal cluster. As he says, "When Sessions left ...", he forms a fist with his left hand - holds it at mid-face level - and then moves it down as if he his pulling on a lever.

The President then forms a fist with his right hand (this image captured from a different camera). This double fist pose is a stance of aggression."

He then brought his fists closer together...

Then disengaging his fists, pulling them apart as his hands opened up.

This double-fisted sequence demonstrates Trump's clear dislike toward former Attorney General Sessions and the President's aggressive mindset toward stopping Robert Mueller's investigation.

: President Trump used a traditional Christian crossing gesture on the South Lawn of The White House Friday while voicing his praise for Matt Whitaker as acting Attorney General. This maneuver was a deliberate and conscious act. In this context, such crossing is pseudo-religious - and indeed, it's cult-engendering.

Trump either perceives himself as a religious figure - or he wants his followers to view himself as god-like (or both).

Moreover, Trump's double-fisted dynamic indicates both his dislike of Jeff Sessions and his aggressive tactics toward Robert Mueller.

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See also:

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

Body Language Analysis No. 4355: Comparing Donald Trump and the Tree of Life Synagogue to Ronald Reagan and the Challenger Disaster

Body Language Analysis No. 4353: The Murder of Jamal Khashoggi and Trump's Defense of Saudi Arabia

Body Language Analysis No. 4351: Donald Trump Stops Anthony Kennedy in His Tracks

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

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

Body Language & Emotional Intelligence - Analysis No. 4106 (Reposting with Addendum): Jordan's Queen Rania meets with Rohingya Refugee Children & Melania Trump's Visit to Children's Shelter/Detention Center

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