Published On: Thu, Dec 5th, 2019

Justin Trudeau ‘keen to make amends’ with Donald Trump at NATO summit shows body language

Justin Trudeau attended the 70th anniversary of NATO alliance reception, hosted by Queen Elizabeth, last night and today he has found himself in hot water with American President, Donald Trump after being caught on video with other world leaders seemingly engaging in a “gossip”-like conversation about the President.

The video, which has gone viral, shows British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron, Trudeau and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte appearing to have a laugh about Trump’s behaviour during the summit. But none of the leaders explicitly named Trump.

“Last night I made reference to the fact that there was an unscheduled press conference before my meeting with President Trump. I was happy to be part of it but it was certainly notable,” Trudeau said during a press conference today.

The 25-second clip, first reported by CBC, begins with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asking French President Emmanuel Macron why he was late, with the Canadian Prime Minister jumping in and then implying it’s the American Presidents fault.

READ MORE: Justin Trudeau sparks fury as he’s caught mocking Trump on live mic

Judi pointed out that Trudeau’s body language appeared to be particularly tense during the group photograph of the NATO leaders.

She said: “This looks like the moment during the NATO group line-up when the photographer shouted ‘Cheese!’ or ‘Fromage’, but while most of the world leaders happily obliged with a selection of grins, a couple of them didn’t quite get the message, suggesting the unfolding drama between Trump and Trudeau after gossip-gate apparently rattled on.

“Stuck down the far end of the front row line-up, Trudeau looks like a man who might be keen to make amends,”she added.

Judi in particular picked up on the potential meaning behind the pose adopted by Trudeau during the photograph.

“His leg-splay suggests confidence but his hands are in the fig-leaf position, signalling self-protection and compliant submission.

“Instead of looking at the camera he seems to be gazing across in Trump’s direction, and his facial expression seems to entail what can only be described as a sad-looking smile,” she explained.

Further evidence of the building tension between leaders is “the grim and rather fixed” expression on Trump’s face.

Judi said: “Trump’s pose is – in contrast with all the other smiling leaders – grim and rather fixed.

“He stands upright with a leg splay and his mouth is clamped, with a rather angry-looking eye-stare.

“This pose would be unlikely to give any reassurance to Trudeau if that’s what he was looking for.”

In other pictures taken at the NATO summit, Justin’s body language and facial expression grows even more concerned as he puts on a brave and sad face while speaking with Donald.

“Trudeau’s facial expression did have an air of sadness, from the wide-eyed non-verbal ‘appeal’ pose to the puckered or steepled brows that suggest concern.

“His handshake with Trump involves some close proximity and Trudeau does seem to use the opportunity to look up at the President and offer an apologetic smile.”

Seemingly in an unforgiving mood Trump appeared to be quite cool with Trudeau, despite shaking hands with him.

Judi said: “Trump has what looks like a firm grasp on Trudeau’s hand but his eyes look away and his subtle jaw-jut suggest resolve rather than deliberate warmth.

“When Trump does look at Trudeau it’s a rather intense eye-gaze and a frown and Trudeau responds by looking down with a part-smile.”

Trump also cancelled his own press conference scheduled for the end of his trip to the NATO summit.

“Oh, and then you know what they’ll say. ‘He didn’t do a press conference. He didn’t do a press conference.’ That was funny when I said the guy’s two-faced, you know that,” Trump said.

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