Monday, April 22, 2019

Body Language Analysis No. 4381: Trump 'jokes' about staying in office for "at least for 10 or 14 years" - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

On Thursday 18 April 2019, in the East Room of the White House, President Trump hosted cyclists of the Wounded Warrior Project - Soldier Ride. This event took place after Attorney General William Barr's press conference regarding The Mueller Report.

President Trump was given a small statue. Just afterward, he said (beginning at 1:14:21 in the above video): "Well, this is really beautiful. This will find a permanent place - at least for six years [audience laughter] in the Oval Office. Is that okay? [audience laughter] I was going to joke, General, and say at least for ten or fourteen years, but we would cause bedlam [audience laughter] if I said that, so we’ll say six..."

What follows is a partial nonverbal analysis of Donald Trump during several crucial moments of this exchange.

During 1:14:24, just prior to Donald Trump saying, "... at least for six years ...", he displays a Jaw Jut. A jaw jut is a signal of a surge of adrenaline. Watch the video at regular speed, then at 1/2 and 1/4 speeds - and then, once again at regular speed. Donald Trump often displays this nonverbal tell just prior to delivering what he perceives to be powerful words and phrases. It's a signal of him amplifying his mental-emotional tone to one of a higher alpha state (aka, "dialing up his alpha").

As he says, "six years" (1:14:26 - 1:14:27), Donald Trump displays what is known as a Lip Curl. In this example, we see it in a lateral profile.

A lip curl is a signal of:

• Braggadocio
• Bravado
• Hubris

Now look back, one-to-two seconds prior to this lip curl (1:14:25 - 1:14:26). Trump pulled on his microphone. This is another common MAP (Manipulator, Adaptor, Pacifier) seen in conjunction with alpha up-regulation associated with an adrenaline surge. The President frequently exhibits this microphone false-adjustment.

During, 1:14:41, just after he says, "bedlam" - as he says, "if I said that" - Donald Trump clearly is suppressing laughter.

During 1:14:42, as he says, "say six", the President displays another, more pronounced lip curl. Trump is facing the camera, near-directly, in this angle.

This is not the first time Donald Trump has mentioned extending his presidency beyond the two-term limit allowed under the Twenty-Second Amendment. In 2018, during a fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago, Trump complimented Chinese President Xi Jinping regarding his abolishment of term limits, saying,  "He’s now president for life. President for life. No, he’s great. And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot someday."

SUMMARY: During this exchange, Donald Trump was not joking regarding presidential term limits. His nonverbal behavior clearly projects braggadocio, bravado, and hubris. Moreover, he's suppressing sincere laughter (joy-happiness) at his suggestion of public bedlam.

Trump's behavior is also passive-aggressive. But more specifically, and of profound importance, he's quite deliberately Trial Ballooning. He's thinking past a second term. He wants a third term. Suggesting this plan in a public forum gives him an adrenaline rush. He is planting seeds and pushing boundaries. This is a common manipulative technique used in many scenarios. In a political context, he can be said to be manipulating the Window of Discourse - also known as Overton's Window ("the range of ideas tolerated in public discourse").

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See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4380: Tiger Woods Wins his first Masters in 14 years

Body Language Analysis No. 4379: Katie Bouman, Black Holes, and Emotional Processing

Body Language Analysis No. 4378: William Barr questioned regarding The Mueller Report

Body Language Analysis No. 4377: Donald Trump, "These aren't people, these are animals"

Body Language Analysis No. 4376: Jacinda Ardern and Donald Trump - a Study in Contrasts

Body Language Analysis No. 4375: Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, and Security Clearances

Body Language Analysis No. 4374: Nancy Pelosi's Clap-Back to Donald Trump during the 2019 SOTU

Body Language Analysis No. 4340: Ruby Rose gets Emotional regarding her new Role as Batwoman

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