Body language expert reveals the truth about Kellyanne Conway and Donald Trump's relationship

Kellyanne Conway, who recently resigned from the White House, enjoyed a close working relationship with President Trump until recently. Over the past few years her relationship with the POTUS seems to have led to troubles on the home front, what with husband George and daughter Claudia being extremely vocal, high-profile critics of her boss. 

These domestic difficulties may have been the motive behind the bombshell Conway dropped on the eve of the Republican National Convention: She'd be stepping down from her position as senior adviser in order to spend more time focusing on her own family (a move that many credit to Claudia, including the teen herself). Whether Conway can manage to patch up her strained marriage remains to be seen. That might require her to forswear allegiance to the man who's apparently been the true center of her life for the past few years: the one, the only, Donald J. Trump.

While there have been reams of virtual paper devoted to analyzing the Trump/Conway relationship, words, as we all know, can easily be twisted to present any set of "alternative facts" that a writer or speaker wishes to present. Body language, on the other hand, tends to be a dead giveaway. In order to determine just what's been going on between The Donald and Conway, The List asked human behavior and body language expert Mark Bowden to take a look at some video footage showing the two of them together.

How Kellyanne Conway really feels about Trump

In a clip from June 2020, CNN's Anderson Cooper questioned Conway about Trump's use of racist language. In this video, Bowden sees Conway showing "defensive behaviors" consisting of "eye blocking — shading the eyes down and away from the questions and the argument when defending the president." He sees this as perhaps indicating "less assertiveness...or even some shame" regarding her argument in support of Trump. 

In a message delivered to Fox News just days before her abrupt resignation, Conway discusses both the recently-wrapped DNC and the impending RNC. When Conway speaks of the Democratic candidate, Bowden describes her as " us[ing] shoulder shrugs to display uncertainty around Biden's speech," but notes that "these same shoulder shrugs do not show up around her description of Trump's speech to come" so it seems like she's still standing by her man as a staunch supporter 'til the very end.

How Trump feels about Kellyanne Conway

Trump is no stranger to speaking his mind, so if he'd ever had a problem with Conway, he'd undoubtedly have let us know. Despite the mutual loathing that exists between Trump and George Conway, he's never once blamed Kellyanne, and it's notable that, in an administration known for its revolving door, Kellyanne Conway is one of the few who've walked out that door of her own volition.

Still, we had Bowden take a look at some of Trump's interactions with Conway to see if his actions back up his words and, no surprise, it would seem that they do. At a pre-inaugural dinner in 2017 (via YouTube), Trump is shown exhibiting "ownership behaviors" indicating he thinks of Conway as belonging to him, such as gripping her hand and refusing to let go. Certain other actions, however — kissing her hand, telling her to be careful while descending the stairs — indicate that he views her as a person "of high value." (Meanwhile, Conway is lowering her head to indicate that while she's pleased to be so valued, she acknowledges that the true high-status person in the room is her boss.) In a Washington Post video from 2018, Trump praises Conway's work, and Bowden sees "his relatively still and ordered behavior around his words" as indicative of the fact that he "truly values Conway's work." So, no smoking gun, no impropriety, just two people who shared a close working relationship and a high degree of mutual respect.