< Go Back

Lie Detection and Scandals

Lie Detection and Scandals

    When Clinton’s surrogates respond to questions about Wikileaks by saying the Russians are behind it, that’s an acknowledgment of guilt. Guilty people almost always question the source of the information first. Innocent people start with a clear denial, or sometimes confusion as to why the question is being asked.

    Some guilty people will give you a straight denial if they know the question is coming and they prepared for it. For example, Bill Clinton famously said of Monica Lewinsky, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” A firm denial from a prepared witness doesn’t mean anything. But a lack of denial, combined with questioning the source, is almost always a lie. Here’s the summary.


    Did you commit the crime?

    Liar: “Who told you that?” 

    Honest Person: “Hell no. I was at work. You can check.”

    Prepared/coached Liar: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”

    Notice that you can’t always tell the difference between an honest answer and a well-coached liar. But the liar without good coaching is as obvious as a lighthouse. When Clinton surrogates redirect any question about Wikileaks to “Russia did it” they are confirming that they believe the content is real and damaging. They just don’t realize they are confirming it.

    Now let’s talk about Trump. When Trump “categorically denies” the accusations of inappropriate sexual behavior, that form of an answer is common to both honest people and well-prepared liars. You can’t tell anything from Trump’s answer.

    But Trump’s supporters and surrogates clearly believe Trump is guilty. You can tell by the precision of their answers. An honest opinion from a surrogate that Trump is totally innocent of all charges would look like this:

    “None of it happened. It is all lies.”

    Instead, you hear deceptive talk that fits these two forms:

    1. “It can’t be a coincidence that everyone came forward at the same time.” 

    2. “Trump categorically denies the allegations and we take him at his word.”

    The first response questions the source of the information, which I already taught you is a sign of deception. 

    The second response allows the surrogate to avoid giving an opinion on the facts and instead focus on their belief in the candidate. “Take him at his word” is code for “He’s on his own to defend the allegations. Keep me out of it.”

    As regular readers know, I now endorse Gary Johnson because he only touches himself. But let me put some context on both the Wikileaks info and Trump’s alleged groping/kissing.


    The Wikileaks emails are not having a huge impact because movies and books have taught us that even our most-respected politicians do favor-trading to get things done. And the emails that DO NOT come from Clinton are little more than underlings chattering. So far, Wikileaks is a big nothing.

    Groping/Kissing Allegations

    I think nearly everyone believes “something happened” with Trump and at least some of the women who have made allegations. I wasn’t a witness to any of it, and I have no opinion on the truth of any specific allegation. But I can help you put the allegations in context.

    I’ll start with a true story that a good female friend once told me about going on a blind date with a famous billionaire (not Trump) years ago. A mutual friend set them up. On the night of the date, she drove to his mansion and a servant let her in. The billionaire came downstairs a few minutes later, introduced himself, and asked if she wanted to have sex before or after dinner. 

    Those were his first words. There was no chit-chat.

    She chose before. So they did. She enjoyed it.

    Why was my friend so accommodating that night? She said it was because he was a billionaire. She liked that.

    Does that story sound anything like your life? I doubt it. So when you evaluate what a billionaire did or did not do behind closed doors, don’t make the mistake of putting your own filter on it. Trump’s experience with women is not like yours.

    My own fame is about 1% of Trump’s fame. And I can confirm that when women hear what I do for a living, they tend to act sexually available. In other words, they flirt. But it isn’t always the “real” kind of flirting. They might have husbands or boyfriends and no intention of cheating. But their body language tends to be inviting in ways that non-famous people never see. The signals can be confusing because sexual attraction and celebrity-awe look the same to the observer. 

    I’m willing to bet that when Trump is alone with a woman, she often – but not always – sends signals of availability, whether she intends it or not. Her rational mind – and her words – might be giving a clear message of no while her eyes, body language, and other signals are responding to power the way humans have evolved to respond. 

    To further complicate things, Trump probably has a good track record of turning a firm no into a yes. He tells the story of Melania rejecting his initial advances until he eventually persuaded her.

    When normal men get rebuffed by women, they know the odds of turning things around are low but not impossible. Most men have had the experience of turning an initial rejection into an eventual girlfriend. Let’s say we succeed at that about 20% of the time at best. But Trump’s turnaround average is probably closer to 80% because he’s a billionaire. And because he’s a Master Persuader.

    I don’t excuse or condone anything Trump has allegedly done. That’s his problem. I’m just providing you with some context. In Trump’s billionaire world, women send mixed signals far more often than you probably imagine. There is a near guarantee that a normal human male in Trump’s situation will press too hard or assume too much about consent. Again, I am not condoning or excusing anyone’s behavior. I’m just saying that rich men are more likely to get mixed signals about consent. I doubt Trump ever leaned in to kiss anyone unless he interpreted their actions as willingness. But I’m sure he’s been wrong more than once. Vote accordingly if that matters to you.

    You might enjoy reading my book because other people did.

More Episodes