Friday, March 24, 2023

Body Language Analysis No. 4679: Donald Trump's first public comments regarding Stormy Daniels — Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

The whole world has been waiting and is expecting the indictment of former U.S. President Donald Trump.

On Thursday 5 April 2018, Donald Trump made his first public comments regarding Stormy Daniels. He did so on Air Force One (video link above). What follows is a nonverbal analysis of this crucial exchange.

 *The written analyses included here appear below the corresponding images.*

JOURNALIST (beginning at 0:16) : Mr. President — did you know about the hundred and thirty thousand dollar payment to Stormy Daniels?


JOURNALIST: Then why did Michael —

DONALD TRUMP: [over-talking] What else?

JOURNALIST: — why did Michael Cohen make this if there was no truth to her allegations?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well you’ll have to ask Micheal Cohen. Michael’s my [pause] attorney and you’ll have to Michael.

JOURNALIST: Do you know where he got the money to make that payment?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, I don’t know. No.

During 0:19–0:22, as the Journalist asks, “… the hundred and thirty thousand dollar payment to Stormy Daniels?” — the President displays a classic Forward Lip Purse (not to be confused with a lateral lip purse).

A forward lip purse is an indication of clandestine thoughts and/or plans are partially or fully being withheld. The person displaying this expression is surreptitiously (fully or partially) disagreeing.

In this context, his Forward Lip Pursing screams out that Trump was lying.

The image immediately above (captured during 0:22) shows the President a split second after his monosyllabic answer. Notice how his eyelids have opened substantially. This dynamic is due to a surge of adrenaline — secondary to Fear.

Note also, in that same image, the then-President’s mouth configuration — that of emotional shock amalgamated with fear.

A peculiar moment occurred when the President’s two young interns/assistants, who had just been leaning in from opposite sides of Air Force One’s aisle (o:22), immediately hid themselves from the camera …

…upon hearing the question, “Mr. President — did you know about the hundred and thirty thousand dollar payment to Stormy Daniels?” (This second image was captured less than a second later, also during 0:22).

Their behavior, of course, signals the interns’ common knowledge of Trump’s emotional sensitivity (anger) to this topic. They have no desire to appear as gawkers.

This is a prime example of the axiom that the body language of others who are on stage and knowledgeable of the speaker — will, acting as subconscious surrogates, often betray his inner thoughts and behavior.

Trump displays additional Fear and Emotional shock displayed during 0:27.


During 0:33 (just after he says, “… you’ll have to ask Michael”), as the President points to another journalist, he displays a microexpression of:
• Mouth of Fear + Sadness
• Elevated Central Forehead Contraction (Elevated CFC)
• Eyelids once again opened widely (Adrenaline Surge secondary to Fear)

This nonverbal cluster indicates Emotional Pain.

During 0:35, as a journalist asks, “Do you know where he got the money to make that payment?” Donald Trump displays a Tight Tongue Jut (more specifically, at the end of this sentence — immediately after she says the word, “money”).

Do not confuse a Tight Tongue Jut with a Loose Tongue Jut or a Wide Open Tongue Jut, as they indicate completely different thought-emotions.

A Tight Tongue Jut indicates the emotions of:

• Disdain
• Disgust
• Repulsion

Think back to when you last saw an infant being fed a food they didn’t like — this is the same tongue dynamic they exhibit. They reject the pureed asparagus, just as much as Trump rejects this question and the thought-emotion it evokes.

His wide open eyes and mouth of fear are clearly evident during 0:36 as he says, “No, I don’t know. No.”

After answering this question with, “No, I don’t know. No.”, the President then displays a classic expression of an amalgam of Regret-Frustration (during 0:37).

Note the classic lateral vectoring of the corners of his mouth (regret) — and the muscle contraction/bulging in the region above the upper lip (Frustration)

Although it’s not a required component of a regret expression, in this moment, his simultaneous longer duration blink/bilateral eyelid closure serves as a regret amplifier and deception tell.

Trump just told a lie and he’s trying to emotionally distance himself in this moment.

A split-second later (still during 0:37) Trump rocks backward on his feet — temporarily retreating into the relative protection of the narrower aisle-way. Although his eyes have now opened, his regret expression persists.

SUMMARY: There is a clear distinction between a person who regrets because they feel remorse and another person who feels regret because they are caught. Donald Trump has likely never felt remorse-regret, only culpability-regret.

Although his multitudes of deceptions have been well-documented by other means, Donald Trump’s nonverbal displays exhibited during the above video clearly indicates that the President lied on Air Force One on 5 April 2018.

Donald Trump lied when he said he didn’t know about Micheal Cohen paying $130,000 to Stormy Daniels. Trump also lied when he denied knowing from where Michael Cohen got the hush money.

Anyone interested in learning Body Language in great detail, please email ( me — esp. attorneys, judges, actors, directors, crisis management, C-level executives, sales professionals, teachers, parents, and health care professionals.