What Trump's Body Language During His Election Night Speech Really Revealed

So, we still don't know who won the Presidential election, as votes continue to be counted in pivotal swing states, including Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Arizona. But if you listened to incumbent President Donald Trump speak late last night, you heard a victory speech (per Forbes). "Frankly, we did win the election," Trump said, and then urged that votes stop being counted.

Does Trump really feel so sure that he's won? In an exclusive interview with The List, Joseph Hoelscher, body language expert and managing attorney at Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda PLLC, analyzed the president's facial expressions, tone, and language use to determine what was really going on in Trump's mind. "He had a prepared speech and was reading off the teleprompter for the first third of the speech, but gradually relaxed and began ad libbing more," Hoelscher observed. "His posture was confident throughout with square shoulders and very open arms." Then, Trump went off-script, and that's when it became more obvious to Hoelscher that the president is feeling pretty good about his re-election chances.

Trump expects to win the election, according to expert

Even with so many mail-in ballots not yet tallied — including one million alone, just in the swing state of Pennsylvania, according to The Washington Post – Trump truly believes that he's got this election in the bag. "When he talked about fraud and how 'it's sad,' he didn't show any non-verbal signs consistent with sadness. In fact, his presentation became more controlled and he showed signs of excitement such as wider eyes and open lips," Hoelscher noted.

At that point in the speech, Trump's confidence shone through, Hoelscher added. "Given that he immediately committed himself to litigation to stop vote counting, I think Trump feels confident the election is in his control and that he has planned for this scenario," he said. But could this show of confidence be an act, designed to delight his base? Hoelscher notes the speech lacked spontaneity. "His presentation was too polished to be unpracticed," he said. "The entire speech was theater, as opposed to a genuine, organic expression. It's hard to say more than that."

While those of us watched the election results anxiously, Trump, buffeted by this confidence, instead is enjoying the theater, proposed Hoelscher. "I think he is looking forward to this fight," he said. "His exit showed energy and confidence."