Trump & Putin's Body Language During Their Presser Said A Lot More Than Their Words

The encounter between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin was one for the ages, alright.
On Monday, the two world leaders had a private meeting that lasted hours before coming before reporters for a disastrous press conference in Helsinki, Finland. In it, Trump sided with Russia instead of American intelligence agencies when it came to the issue of the Kremlin influencing the 2016 presidential election, implied the U.S. was to blame for tensions between of both countries, and didn't once condemn the Russian regime for its long history of human rights violations. Total normal stuff to do in front of a longtime adversary. Oh, and Putin might have made a reference to the infamous "pee tape."

Trump's remarks and refusal to stand up to Putin drew condemnation from both sides of the aisle, though some Republicans stood behind the president.
"Today’s press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory," Sen. John McCain said in a highly critical statement.
He added: "No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant. Not only did President Trump fail to speak the truth about an adversary; but speaking for America to the world, our president failed to defend all that makes us who we are — a republic of free people dedicated to the cause of liberty at home and abroad."
Democrats such as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer agreed. He said: "Millions of Americans will continue to wonder if the only possible explanation for this dangerous behavior is the possibility that President Putin holds damaging information over President Trump." Sen. Tammy Duckworth went as far as suggesting that Trump has been turned into a Russian asset, "perhaps without his knowledge."
But, the devil is in the details. Refinery29 spoke with Patti Wood, a body language expert and author of Snap: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma, to decode four major moments of Trump and Putin's encounter.
First off, the pre-meeting appearance the leaders did before the press. In a clip, Trump can be seen winking at Putin.
"He was sitting like he normally sits in an alpha position. I’ve read him in this situation so many times and he did a jacket adjustment, which is something I don’t see very often," Wood said. "It’s an anxiety cue, asking 'How am I looking? Do I look good?' But a wink like that with a full head turn indicates "We’re on this. We have a secret. They don’t know."'
She added: "I won’t editorialize on that."
Wood also had some thoughts on how Putin gave Trump a soccer ball to recognize the U.S. will host the 2026 World Cup. Two things that she found interesting were how Putin handed the ball to Trump and the latter's reaction to the gesture.

"To me that was interesting because typically when you see a presentation of a soccer ball there’s a toss-off. Instead, he very politely walked out of the podium and handed it to Trump," she said. "It was an accommodating way [to do so]."
She added: "[Trump] did the photo op, but he didn’t take it very seriously. You can tell from his facial expression and manner that he was kind of embarrassed and it was not very important to him. This was emphasized by the fact he said he was gonna give it to his son [Barron.] He was also not a lot in touch with [his wife] Melania. When he tossed the ball, it was not a good toss because it seemed she was not expecting it and therefore didn’t catch it. The whole interaction told me he thought, This is sort of silly and that he’s not a soccer fan."
The issue of the elusive "pee tape" — the allegation that the Kremlin has a secretly-recorded tape of Trump involving sex workers he hired to urinate on the bed the Obamas slept in during their visit to Moscow — was also brought up during the conference.
"Let me tell you this, when President Trump was in Moscow back then, I didn't even know that he was in Moscow," Putin said. "I treat President Trump with utmost respect, but back then when he was a private individual, a businessman, nobody informed me that he was in Moscow."
He added a hypothetical: "Let's take the St. Petersburg economic forum, for instance. There were over 500 American businessmen, high ranking, high level ones. I don't even remember the last names of each and every one. Do you think that we try to collect compromising material on each and every single one of them? Well, it's difficult to imagine on a bigger scale than this. Please disregard these issues and don't think about this anymore again."
The Russian president never denied having compromising information about Trump.
According to Wood, this was one of the most curious exchanges between the press and the two leaders. What struck her was the long period of silence following the question. "Silence is a powerful communicator. It was a sanction to the reporter, she said. "It was almost a punishment as sort of saying to the reporter, 'That's enough.'"
She also pointed out at Trump's reaction when the question came up. "Trump looks down and gives this very interesting upside down smile. It's a joker smile — there's a mischievousness in his eyes about it," she said, adding that Trump was trying to look amused even though he wasn't. "He's withholding his emotions. Then, he does the body turn again to Putin. It's showing they have an intimacy and they're in this together."

For Wood, Putin's body language showed that he was uncomfortable with the 
question. "He touched his ear and turns down his head in a way. That particular signal shows [he's thinking], I don't like what I hear."

Putin probably didn't like that they were questioned about the Kremlin's interference in the 2016 presidential election, which both leaders have long denied.
Wood pointed out that Trump's body language didn't agree with the statements he was making. "He said, "It's not Russia" but he is saying it with a backward head jerk and his eyes closed. That movement doesn't show congruence with the statement."
In a tweet sent from the president's account, Team Trump seemed to try to mend the aftermath of his comments.
"As I said today and many times before, 'I have GREAT confidence in MY intelligence people.' However, I also recognize that in order to build a brighter future, we cannot exclusively focus on the past – as the world’s two largest nuclear powers, we must get along!"

The language of the tweet was uncharacteristic. But then again, so was his meeting with the Russian dictator.

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Patti Wood, MA - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at

Online First Impressions Are More Negative than Face to Face First Impressions.

Some of you know one of my areas of research and one of my body language books and my most popular keynote speech is on first impressions. I do research and consult on my clients business first impression and one of the things you may not know is that online your first impression is likely to be perceived more negatively.
“If you want to make a good impression, it is critical that it is done in person,” said Jeremy Biesanz, Ph.D., of the University of British Columbia, who conducted three studies comparing the accuracy and bias of first impressions when formed under different circumstances.
The first study analyzed a series of experiments involving more than 1,000 participants who met each other through either a three-minute speed-dating style interview or by watching a video of the person.
“What we observe here is that the accuracy of impressions is the same when you meet someone face to face or simply watch a video of them,” Biesanz said. “However, impressions are much more negative when you form impressions more passively through watching videotapes.”
While people could accurately attribute certain personality traits, such as extroverted, arrogant, or sociable, to others in person or by video, the magnitude of the positive attributes was lower via video, while the negatives attributes were higher.
The researchers found similar results in two other studies, including one that compared in-person impressions to those obtained by looking at Facebook photos. The other study compared in-person meetings to simply watching someone as a passive observer. In all cases, the passive means of making impressions were as accurate as the active ones, according to the researchers.
“However, there is an extremely large difference in the positivity of impressions,” he said. “More passive impressions are substantially more negative.”

Patti Wood, MA - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at

Body Language Experts Compare Meghan and Harry's Wedding to Kate and Will's

The day we've all been waiting for is finally here: Meghan Markle married her prince — actually, the Duke of Sussex — at St George's Chapel. The whole world watched ... and cheered ... and wept. The ceremony was full of under-the-breath comments from Harry (we caught 'em), Princess Diana tributes, and lots (and lots) of body language.
"Prince Harry is living the story he's dreamed up his entire life," Susan Constantine, human behavioral expert and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Reading Body Language told "Same goes for Meghan Markle. In every moment, you can see that they're totally mesmerized with one another." As they should be.
The grand spectacle of it all, including Meghan's family drama, didn't get in the way of their love. Better yet, even though Harry was riddled with nerves, he still embraced the moment — well, his bride.
"This is a high anxiety moment for Harry yet he's still being spontaneous and affectionate toward Meghan throughout this formal occasion," Patti Wood, body language expert and author of SNAP: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma told "He touches and bites his lip as a way to hold back his emotions (a.k.a tears) and soothe himself in a stressful situation." Makes sense to us.
And when the choir started singing "Stand By Me," Harry comforted his soon-to-wife with a gentle stroke of the hand. Ugh, our hearts.
But his emotions truly took over when his late mother's sister Lady Jane Fellowes read the Song of Solomon. "You can see Harry's hands are in a downward steeple," Wood explained. "This is merely his way of pulling himself together during an understandingly difficult moment."
In this moment, he also turns toward his bride, indicating that he wants to be connected to her while he keeps his emotions at bay. "Meghan, on the other hand, is focused on formality," Wood told us. " You can tell she's received royal training due to her erect posture but overall she's exhibiting strength and grace."
Their hands prove to be the real indicator of their emotions. While reciting their vows, Harry presses his thumbs down into Meghan's hands.
"In this moment, she's reaching her hands out farther to be close to him but he's giving her strength through his thumbs," Wood told us. "This is his way of saying 'I got you.'" How sweet!
When Prince William and Kate Middleton recited their vows seven years ago, things looked rather different. For starters, they didn't hold both hands (protocol, perhaps?). "More importantly, Kate stretches her hand over to Will, indicating that he's in charge and she will follow him wherever he goes," Wood explained.
After officially saying "I will" — their version of "I do" — Meghan and Harry stepped out of the chapel as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. "She's overjoyed by this surreal moment and he's totally smitten with her," Constantine explained. "They're truly connecting with one another and their upward-turning smiles are proof that they're totally smitten."
Once again, the couple is holding hands — and dropping serious clues about how they're feeling."Beyond their mutual eye contact, when the couple kissed they turned their shoulders very close to one another, which signifies that they want to be close even in such a public moment," said Wood. "In fact, no one would question if their shoulders were a few inches apart ... but clearly that's not what's important here."
When Will and Kate made their official entrance as a married couple on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, they also had the same sweetness in their eyes (ah, love!). But their intimate moment is more about formality than anything else. "You can tell how genuinely happy Kate is just by looking at her face, but it's also evident that she has not lost sight of being appropriate and formal with her posture," Wood said. But with the knowledge that Kate is likely the next Queen, we can totally understand why.
Here's the truth: Both weddings were full of pure, genuine love — that's the goal, isn't it? Both experts agree that the world hasn't seen a love like Harry and Meghan's in a long time (well, since 2011) — and we couldn't agree more.

Patti Wood, MA - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at

How Prince Harry & Meghan Markle's Wedding Body Language In 2018 Differs From Will & Kate's In 2011

On April 29, 2011, the world watched as Prince William and Kate Middleton exchanged vows at Westminster Abbey in London. This past Saturday — seven years after Kate donned that iconic Alexander McQueen gown and she and Will became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge — it was Prince Harry's turn. He and American angel Meghan Markle tied the knot at St. George's Chapel in Windsor, just outside of the British capital. And, while both ceremonies were touching and both couples looked overjoyed in their own ways, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding body language is quite a bit different than that of William and Kate's.
But you don't have to take my word for it — I brought in the pros to do a little comparing and contrasting. Elite Daily spoke with body language experts Tonya Reiman, Patti Wood, and Blanca Cobb to uncover what each set of newlyweds' actions revealed about their thoughts and feelings on the big day — about the cheering crowds, their new spouses, and the significance of this historical moment (for themselves and for the world).
Both couples shared adorably quick kisses and even more adorable, telling glances with one another. But that's just the beginning. Here's a look at exactly how Harry and Meghan's newlywed body language in 2018 differs from William and Kate's back in 2011 — plus what their physical cues reveal about their relationships.
Both Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle likely had pre-wedding jitters.
Just after Kate Middleton made her way to her groom, she clearly clenched her father's hand, indicating that she realized what a BFD this was.
When Kate meets her groom at the altar, she takes a deep breath and clenches her father's hand, which Reiman chocks up to "wedding jitters or perhaps soon-to-be 'princess' jitters."
It's a feeling the duchesses likely shared, as we saw Meghan take a deep breath the moment she entered St. George's Chapel.
"In the shot of her standing at the church door, you see [Meghan] trying to catch her breath with nervousness, but her face is relatively calm," says Wood.
"As she walked down the aisle, Meghan was completely poised and she wore a peaceful smile," notes Cobb. "She kept her chin slightly lowered and looked up at her awaiting prince. The look was romantically flirtatious!"
(Also, can we all take a moment to appreciate how gosh darn excited page boy Brian Mulroney is? Be still my heart!)

The royal bros were so excited for one another.
One of the most charming moments of William and Kate's wedding came before the pair had even joined hands: When Kate made her grand entrance, Harry took a peep at the beautiful bride coming down the aisle, and said something that looks like, "Wait until you see her" to his older brother.
"The look is affectionate and childlike with a boyish grin — it demonstrates the warmth he feels for his future sister-in-law and his brother," explains Reiman.
On Harry's big day, he and his brother both bobbed and smiled as Meghan made her way down the aisle, accompanied by their father, Prince Charles.
The dukes appeared to be a bit antsy, too.
Speaking of crowds, even William and Harry get a bit antsy knowing that so many people are watching (and also, you know, because they're getting married!). Though both dukes grew up in the public eye, they showed a few signs of discomfort and nerves on the big day.
"On the balcony, William [kept] touching his outfit," says Reiman. "This appears to be a sign of displacement — slight nervous behavior to keep your hands busy."
While Harry looked cool as a cucumber during the couple's carriage processional through Windsor, he was definitely feeling some feels during his vows.

"[We] see him rock forward and back in nervousness, but he is smiling, except on the 'til death us do part,'" says Wood. "His bottom lip comes up and over to suck the sadness of the thought of that loss back in. That is incredibly sweet and sad and shows his real love for her. You see him have trouble breathing staying still and calm as she gives her vows."

They also exchanged loving touches throughout the ceremony, in some less somber moments.
"While they held hands [during the ceremony], Harry caressed Meghan’s fingers with his thumb," Cobb explains. "Again, touch is a silent sign of love, connection and emotion... When you’re in love, you want to touch the one your heart beats for."
Is it cool and normal if my heart only beats for Harry and Meghan? Yes? Great.

Meghan seemed less shocked by the crowds than Kate did.
In 2011, the streets of London were flooded with adoring royal fans — all hoping to catch a glimpse of the new, happy couple — and Kate Middleton was seemingly in awe.
When the couple popped out onto the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the ceremony, Kate could hardly keep her eyes off of the never-ending crowds below.
"Note the wide-eyed astonishment as Kate says, 'Oh, [wow],' upon seeing the enormous crowd — innocent behavior that seems to make William smile," says Reiman.

Moments later, when the couple shared one of their first-ever kisses as husband and wife, "William [kept] his eyes lingering on Kate and Kate quickly [turned] back to the crowd," Reiman explains. "This [was] most likely due to Kate’s excitement at being exposed to this size audience."

While the crowds for Harry and Meghan's wedding were seemingly endless as well, Meghan appeared to be slightly less overwhelmed, instead shooting Harry coy glances and even suggesting they share their first kiss (seriously, if you watch the footage back, I'm pretty sure she says "Do we kiss?" and Harry says, "Yeah." It's the cutest.)
"Their first kiss is a gentle, almost two-second, lip kiss with eyes closed – they open their eyes and look at each other before turning back forward – a sign of love," Reiman notes. "Their ride in the carriage is filled with hand holding, little conversation and waves."

Both couples are genuinely so in love.
At various moments during both royal weddings, the happy couples exchanged looks and shared little moments that showed how truly, madly in love they were — and each and every one set my heart on fire.
"In the unveiling... after she smiles up shyly, they have a moment where they are fully present with each other [and] non-verbally he says something that makes her laugh," says Wood. "They actually have a fun, intimate moment in the midst of all the formal pageantry! How marvelous."
How marvelous, indeed. Similarly, on William and Kate's big day, "The eye contact [was] sometimes a gaze where they [spent] several seconds engaged with one another," Reiman explains. "The few times they did kiss [on the balcony], they both smiled [and] leaned into each other, while making sure they did not turn their back on the crowds — sure signs of being in sync and happy."
"They have an amazing chemistry between them, at the same time, you can see the comfort level between them," says Reiman, and Cobb had a similar assessment of Harry and Meghan's connection.
"Both Harry and Meghan radiated the biggest, happiest smiles for each other," she explains. "This royal couple isn’t shy about showing each other the way they feel. Whether it’s a smile, a touch, a caress, they’re quick to show their affections. It’s quite heartwarming."
I think everyone watching around the world saw the same. Gosh, don't you just love royal love?
Patti Wood, MA - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at

Cole Sprouse & Lili Reinhart's Red Carpet Debut Gave These 6 Clues Into Their Bond

For those of you who didn't keep up with the Met Gala last night, let me give you a little refresher. As usual, it delivered with some amazing outfits and, more importantly, some juicy celebrity gossip. The Met Gala has always been a great place for A-listers to flaunt their relationships, both new and old. Last night, two Riverdale star, Cole Sprouse and Lili Reinhart, made their red carpet debut. While you may have heard about the possibility of the two being linked together for a while now, last night was a pretty big deal because it was the first time the two decided to step out publicly as a couple.
In fact, in a recent interview with Seventeen, Reinhart made it pretty clear that she didn't necessarily plan on going public with Sprouse any time soon.
Every time someone asks me about it, I make a decision then and there about whether I’m comfortable. It’s not like I’m in some kind of contract, but I’m not in the place where I want to talk about it, and that’s totally fine. It’s called a private life for a reason—it’s mine, and it’s special and sacred. My relationships are between me and whomever I’m with, not between me and the world.
So, now that the couple decided to shock the world by finally coming forward at pretty much the most public event, like, ever, here are all the clues we can gather about what their relationship is really like.
Going public means they're willing to take risks for each other.

"Having worked for my clients in the entertainment industry for over 25 years, I know what a big deal it is for a couple to go public," says Dr. Gary Brown, a prominent relationship therapist in Los Angeles who has been working with his clients in the entertainment industry for over 25 years. "The fact that they will now routinely be in the public eye says that their relationship is important enough to them, that they are willing to give up one of the most cherished commodities for any actor — their privacy. This is particularly true for singles who become couples. In their case, possibly even more so as there will be the inevitable comparisons to their characters on Riverdale to their relationship IRL."
"Going 'public' in a relationship is somewhat unique for celebrities or other public figures," adds Dr. Joshua Klapow, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and host of The Web Radio Show. "Simply because they are seen and known by more people, and the assumptions that are made about the relationship can, in some cases, impact their careers."
Their relationship had to be in a solid place to make this move.

"[Becoming public] also opens a flood gate of judgement," warns Dr. Klapow. "Going public means that your relationship is going to be tested by the outside world. To be ready for this, you need to be very clear on a few things."
Specifically, Dr. Klapow notes there are four things a couple should be clear on before going public. First, it's the nature of the relationship (i.e where this going and what are we). Second, it's how they you're going to handle judgment. Third, it's how much the two of you are willing to share with others about each other and your relationship. Finally, he notes it's important to know when it's time "to pull together, to talk out issues that have come up from others from the outside, being ready to tackle difficult statements that could be made by family, friends, co-workers."
If Reinhart and Sprouse really have all of these things figured out, I'd say they're in a pretty good place.
They're excited about the relationship but may not be ready for the risks.

"Sometimes, going public is overrated," Dr. Klapow warns. "We tend to do it because we are excited and proud of our relationship. However, if we are not prepared for comments, speculations, questions, and a test of who we are as a couple, then the glory of making the announcement is overshadowed by the strain of the public scrutiny. That holds whether you are Lili and Cole or anyone."
They see each other as equals.

"Cole and Lilli’s outfits signify as a whole that they’re a new couple on the market who are ready to take on life together," says Sydney Sadick, on-air fashion and style expert. "Both looks were particularly fresh, from the color and silhouette of Lili’s look to the crop pants in Cole’s tuxedo, but one didn’t out-shine the other. While Lili’s look was certainly romantic and flirty with its gorgeous, soft, blue color palette and off-the-shoulder silhouette, it also had a visible edge, showing that there’s no superiority complex in their relationship. Rather, she and Cole are equals."
As a couple, they know their place on the Hollywood totem poll.

"As their first time walking the carpet, and [first time walking] together, they made a statement while not competing with the big Met Gala red carpet vets like Kim Kardashian and J. Lo," notes Sadick. "They were chic and youthful, sophisticated and playful."
There may be some trouble in the bedroom.

"Her legs are crossed and they're crossed tightly," notes Patti Wood, body language expertand author of SNAP: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma. "It may be the dress. But what's interesting is that, in this intimate moment with him, she's still very concerned about the dress and/or she needs to cross her legs which usually indicates a problem with sexuality in the relationship, a lack of fidelity in the relationship, or some kind of concern about sex." Wood highlights the fact that it really "could just be the dress but it's interesting that she's crossing her legs so tightly even when she's so close up to him."
I don't know about you guys but that dress is so short I'm going to go ahead and attribute her crossed legs to that. Or the fact that this is their first time stepping out as a couple publicly and I can't even imagine how nerve wrecking that must be.

Congrats to Reinhart and Sprouse on finally taking the plunge and making it official!
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Patti Wood, MA - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at