What Donald Trump's Body Language Reveals In His Farewell Address

Those who know outgoing President Donald Trump, or at least his speaking style, say that there are two iterations of the president: "Twitter Trump" and "Teleprompter Trump." The nicknames are a giveaway and should indicate what kind of words and tone audiences can expect whenever Trump delivers a public address of any kind (via The Washington Post).

It appears Twitter Trump was nowhere nearby when Trump delivered his pre-recorded valedictory address before the nation, and which was subsequently uploaded onto YouTube. There were no live press conferences, no speeches for the outgoing president. Thus it was left to body language expert Lauren Cohen, an executive and career coach, to decipher what Trump was really trying to say by going past the words that had been scripted for him.

Cohen tells The List: "Usually President Trump uses his hands a fair amount when he speaks and uses his body to bully and try to exert power but his farewell speech was different. He came on strong because it is Donald Trump but he did not communicate the same way with his body as he did prior to losing the election."

Trump: "We achieved more than anyone thought possible"

In his speech, the text of which is available through Newsweek, Trump expressed his gratitude and delivered a list of accomplishments he says were attained during his four years in office, claiming that "we achieved more than anyone thought possible. Nobody thought we could even come close."

Trump's list included tax cuts, tariffs on China, and moves to become the world's No. 1 producer of oil and natural gas. He also took the credit for the speedy development of two COVID vaccines, and for instituting a quick economic recovery. He also pointed out that "[w]e restored American strength at home and American leadership abroad. The world respects us again. Please don't lose that respect." He even echoed the words that son Don Jr.'s girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle delivered on the night of her speech at the Republican National Convention, that "the best is yet to come" (via Twitter).

The speech was notable in its omissions, too. Trump did not mention the new administration by name, nor did he concede that he had lost the election. He did not mention the double impeachment, nor of the violent riot carried out by his supporters on Jan. 6, which cast a long shadow over the last weeks of his term.

Expert: Trump's speech lacked charisma and passion

For all the victorious words that Trump delivered, Cohen tells The List that Trump was robotic, and delivered his stellar report card with little emotion: "He was clearly reading the entire time and was laser focused with his eyes but less connected and emotional than normal. He moved his body and shoulder forward as he often does when emphasizing certain points but did not use his dramatic hand gestures at all. His speech lacked charisma and passion and was given by someone whose eyes were narrowed and turned in a way that seemed somewhat angry and sad. His body language reinforced that he was disconnected more than his words."

Without access to Twitter Trump, which some consider to be the outgoing president's real core, we'll never know how he really felt when he told the world he had big things to show from the last four years.