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