FORMER President Donald Trump looked like "a scared child reaching for help" ahead of an arraignment on Tuesday following his historic indictment, a body language expert has said.
The ex-president, 76, was seen boarding his jet to New York City this afternoon after he was indicted over an alleged hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels, 44, last week.
Trump was photographed as he left his Mar-a-Lago residence on Monday, days after he became the first former U.S. president to ever be indicted.
He was escorted by motorcade from Mar-a-Lago to the airport, where he boarded his jet and headed to New York City for the historic arraignment on Tuesday.
Body language expert Patti Wood spoke to The U.S. Sun about Trump's appearance as he was leaving Florida.
While Trump previously appeared to be more uplifted, today his body language was more fearful, Wood said, based on her analysis.
'FEAR AND ANGER'
In one photo where Trump appears to be waving from his car, Wood noticed that he was hunched over.
“That is a protective stance," she said.
"You hunch over to protect yourself from a hit.”
Wood referenced the fight or flight response, which can sometimes entail making yourself smaller or tightened as Trump appears to have done, according to Wood.
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“The expression on his face … there’s not a smile. There’s not a playfulness," the body language pro said.
"The musculature is downward … around his eyes, it’s a mixture … it’s both fear and a little bit of anger. They’re combined together.
"Then, the hand is not his typical wave, not his typical thumbs up. It looks more like a child … to me that hand is reaching [for] help.”
'NO STRENGTH OR TENACITY'
In a different photo from today, Trump gave his signature thumbs up – but Wood's assessment revealed a very different energy.
“The fingers aren’t held tight. He doesn’t have strength [or] tenacity," she said.
"The thumb is barely held up. The wrist, overall, is held downward instead of lifted up at the elbow.
"It’s totally different energetically.
"He is hunched forward and his facial expression, there is a little bit more glum with a little bit of meanness underneath it.”
'UP' BODY LANGUAGE
Wood compared Monday's photos to others from 2020 and 2021 where Trump appeared to have more "up body language," she said.
One photo in particular showed the former president giving a thumbs up, though under different circumstances.
“His thumb [is] an upward motion, there’s a lift and you can see there’s energy in it by how tightly he has the fist and the thumb up," Wood said.
"You can even see the thumb is pushed forward.
"He’s showing a lot of the upper teeth … that has more genuineness about it.”
Other past photos showed Trump's more playful side, according to Wood.
"His facial expression is overexaggerated and comical," Wood said of the past images.
"His eyebrows are lifted up and he’s making eye contact with the public.
"He’s showing off. He’s playful."
Trump is expected to appear before Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg on Tuesday after announcing his surrender.
The former president has denied having an affair with Daniels as well as any wrongdoing involving the alleged "hush money" payments.
He is said to face 34 felony counts for falsification of business records, Yahoo! News reports.
Judge Juan Merchan has reportedly denied any video coverage of tomorrow’s arraignment, but will allow five cameras from the media pool to take still photos until it begins.
It's also reported Trump will not be required to wear handcuffs, placed in a jail cell, or have a mugshot taken.
The former president met with his attorneys in New York on Monday and was due to spend the night at Trump Tower before heading to the courthouse on Tuesday, the Associated Press reports.
The former president's lawyers previously asked the judge overseeing the case to block photo and video coverage of Tuesday's hearing.
Trump plans to hold a news conference from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida just hours after the court appearance.
Meanwhile, the former president launched his 2024 presidential campaign and held his first rally in Waco, Texas last month.
Trump’s indictment has strengthened his chances of winning the Republican presidential nomination, a top GOP strategist has said.
“Trump’s base will lean closer to Donald Trump. They will support him more passionately," Rick Wilson, co-founder of The Lincoln Project, told The U.S. Sun.
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“His supporters will view the indictment as illegitimate and will claim it’s the deep state.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who scored an impressive election victory in November’s gubernatorial elections, has been touted as a potential GOP nominee.
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