Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Statement Analysis: President Obama's Denial of Investigation Involvement

In April 2016, President Barack Obama told the nation,  “I do not talk to the Attorney General about pending investigations. I do not talk to FBI directors about pending investigations. We have a strict line and always have maintained it. I guarantee it. I guarantee that there is no political influence in any investigation conducted by the Justice Department or the FBI, not just in this case but in any case. Period.”
Recently, texts between FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, indicates to the contrary.  

Which to believe?

Statement Analysis gets to the truth. 

Lisa Page texted Strzok on September 2, 2016, with the news that FBI director James Comey wanted them to prepare an update on ongoing investigations because “potus wants to know everything we’re doing.” 
Advanced Analysis
Barack Obama, particularly in his second term, was a powerful leader, with extreme oratory skills and international popularity.   Whether or not you agreed with his policy, he ran a tight ship of very loyal appointees and made dramatic changes to the nation.  That he would want to know everything the investigators were doing is expected from what 8 years of analysis of his leadership showed. He nominated  Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State and supported her candidacy for president since. 
The texts also show Peter Strzok writing to Lisa Page on September 28, 2016: 
Got called up to Andy’s [McCabe] earlier... hundreds of thousands of emails turned over by Weiner’s atty to sdny [Southern District of New York], includes a ton of material from spouse [Huma Abedin]. Sending team up tomorrow to review… this will never end.” 
The FBI didn’t inform Congress until a month later (October) that they were re-opening their email investigation into Clinton.
In the texts, Strzok also called Virginians “ignorant hillbillys” [sic] for failing to elect the wife of FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe to the state Senate. McCabe's wife received a very large donation from Clinton associate Terry McAuliffe's political entity. The connection to Hillary Clinton noted in context of the investigation. 
Post Election 
Prior text messages established strong anti-Trump bias from both Page and Strzok, to the point that once the texts went public, both were fired from the Mueller investigation, but not prior. One text used the phrase, "insurance policy" regarding the "what if" that Donald Trump would defeat Hillary Clinton.  Another said, "there is no there there" regarding Trump-Russia collusion. Still another acknowledged not using a "bear gun" in interviewing Hillary Clinton, Strzok's supposed future boss.  
The bias was acute and emotional.   
On November 13, 2016, after the election  Page wrote to Strzok, “I bought all the president’s men. Figure I need to brush up on Watergate.”
Ben Shapiro wrote in his editorial, "The most shocking material here is obviously the news that President Obama wanted to be updated on the Clinton investigation — particularly when Obama stated on national television in April 2016 “I do not talk to the Attorney General about pending investigations. I do not talk to FBI directors about pending investigations. We have a strict line and always have maintained it. I guarantee it. I guarantee that there is no political influence in any investigation conducted by the Justice Department or the FBI, not just in this case but in any case. Period.”
Although we may debate if this is the most shocking, or even if it is shocking act all, lets look at the statement.  
Question for Analysis:  Was President Obama truthful in his denial?  

I do not talk to the Attorney General about pending investigations. 
Lie Detection 101 teaches verbal commitment.  The formula for commitment is:
a.  Pronoun "I"
b.  Past tense verb
People often mistakingly think, perhaps since the era of motion pictures and television, that leaders or movie stars are "different" from the rest of humanity.  It is not so. 
Lying causes internal stress, not simply due to conscience (the conscience can be seared) but primarily due to the potential for accusation. In the incredibly rapid processing time of human language, human nature seeks self protection and lowered stress. It is rare to lie outright (10%), instead, opting for subtle changes. 
In fact, most deception is through withheld information.  We like to technically tell the truth, to avoid latter accusation.
Since the overwhelming amount of deception is through deliberately withheld information, investigators are taught "Content Analysis"; that is, that most of what remains in a statement, is very likely to be reliable.  We call this, "technical truth" which is intended to deceive. 
We all do it. 
Technical truth examples  
 "It depends upon the meaning of the word 'is' is."  is an example. 
"I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky."
Both of these sentences are technically truthful.  In the second, President Clinton acknowledged later that "although it was technically truthful" (avoiding legal consequence), "it was intended to deceive..."
He spoke to Ms. Lewinsky and reminded her of his internal subjective definition of "sexual relations" being "intercourse." Therefore, he told the technical truth of not having intercourse with Ms. Lewinsky.
His finger wagging was noted as emphasis, or "Need to Persuade" rather than stand upon the truth. 
*Had President Clinton been asked, under the polygraph, if he had "sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky", he might have passed if, in deed, he believed his internal dictionary's meaning of "sexual relations."
This is why we do not interpret and we use the pre screening interview for the polygraph.  Had President Clinton defined "sexual relations" before a polygraph, the polygraph question would have changed to fit his personal, internal subjective dictionary; something we all have.  "Did you have sexual contact with Ms. Lewinsky?" would leave him incapable of deceiving the polygraph.  
This is a good example of why we believe the subject. 
President Obama, the "subject" here, began with the pronoun "I",. which is very strong.
b.  "I do not..." is to run away from commitment.  The accusation is not regarding current activity but past activity where he was alleged to have been informed (or in charge) of the investigation. 
We find this language to be often used by substance abusers when they are alleged to have used illicit drugs at the work place.  
In a sense, it is truthful because, if, for example, an addict quit yesterday, "I do not use drugs" is, technically, truthful, if the person quit yesterday, but it avoids the accusation that "you used cocaine at work last Wednesday..."
Domestic Violence 
Q.  "Did you strike your wife?"
A.  "I do not hit women.  I was raised not to strike a woman. I grew up reverencing women.  My dad said..."
Here we have a very likely "technically truthful" response, which is, however, indicated for deception.  Why?
a.  He refused to commit to the past tense (our formula for psychological commitment) 
b. His need to persuade
c.  His sermonizing.  This type of "virtue signaling" is often a projection of guilt. 
Our subject continued with even more detail.  We have the psychological refusal to commit to the past and now: 
I do not talk to FBI directors about pending investigations.
a.  Present tense
b.  Qualifications ("pending" investigations)
c.  Use of non-specific identification "FBI directors"; is not "the FBI Director" nor is it "Director Comey."
He then further weakens his answer by changing from the pronoun "I" to the pronoun "we."  This is the psychological need for "others" in a statement.  He does not want to be alone with this statement: 
We have a strict line and always have maintained it.
No longer is it "I" but "we."  This now opens a new question as to who was used as a go between or "buffer" to allow "plausible deniability" or "an affirmable defense."  This is language we often find from those trained in law. 
"We" weakens his answer and "maintained" is a subtle form of minimization.  It is a "strict" line (unnecessary) and instead of saying, "and I did not cross it", he uses plural (others are now involved in the subject's verbalized perception of reality) and "maintained" is often used when there have been challenges to the "strict line" that warranted "maintenance" rather than obedience.  
That he used this word with the plural pronoun indicates the weakness exhibited is very likely associated with go between individuals for him. 
We now find the unnecessary persuasion that mimics the finger wagging of President Clinton or the "read my lips" statement of George HW Bush: 
 I guarantee it. 
There is no need to guarantee that which did not take place, unless...there is a need. 
This is akin to "promise" and is associated with deception. It increases the sensitivity to the denial, yet he is not done with his need to persuade rather than rely upon the psychological powerful wall of truth: 
I guarantee that there is no political influence in any investigation conducted by the Justice Department or the FBI, not just in this case but in any case. Period.”
a.  Repetition increases sensitivity. 
b.  We now see the subtle entrance into hyperbole.  "any investigation" that is not just in this case, but "any" case. 

This is to guarantee twice that which one cannot guarantee. Of course any investigator is going to have political influence. This is the point of using hyperbolic language in persuasion:  the subject's need to persuade is so acute, that self awareness becomes lost.  

This is akin to juvenile and unsophisticated lying teenager thinking that he will be believed if he keeps promising, over and over, that he "would never" (not "did not") do something. It is beyond finger wagging, or "never ever ever ever" type of repetition. 

c. "Period" is to call in linguistic reinforcements to "end the discussion."  It is to add a period where the truth, itself, is a period.  

Analysis Conclusion 

Deception Indicated. 

He lied and it is a 'Statement Analysis 101' example of what deception looks like. The avoidance of commitment is textbook. 

 President Obama was informed of the investigation and it is very likely, according to his statement, that he not only used in-betweens, but his avoidance of using Director Comey's name and opting for "any" directors instead, indicates contact with Dir. Comey. 

Consider Director Comey's statement analyzed here

The same principles applied to all statements, including theft, murder, arson, drug trafficking, and so on, are used in analysis of statements by very intelligent and well educated subjects.  

Human nature remains the same. 

If you wish to study lie detection, please visit Hyatt Analysis Services.  


Unknown said...

What about the change in tense. He went from, I do not, present tense to, we have always maintained it, past tense. He didn't say that he currently maintains but they have maintained.

Statement Analysis Blog said...

"We have always" is not only to use the pronoun "we" but to elongate time. It is akin to the example I cited:
"would never."

Deeper analysis on "maintained" is warranted, but not for blog entry.

The focus on "I" is critical. What "we" is similar to the D/V lecturing, in spite of leakage.


Statement Analysis Blog said...


here goes a short quiz.

the present tense went to the imperfect past tense "have always" for students:

a. What caused an increase in linguistic confidence? *(present tense to past tense, regardless of indiscriminate time weakness)

b. How do you classify "we have always" overall, via element?


Anonymous said...

Funny how the FBI didn't care for those "ignorant hillbillys" of Virginia.

Controlling mountain people isn't their forte.

And, the other brushing up on Watergate by reading a novel? WTH?

Why not go over some of the documents in the Watergate scandal?

The good news: Trump wants a military parade to demonstrate military might in the USA.

They think the tanks will rip up the streets, though Texas has one guy they've had trouble with for parking his on the public street. The owner, a military guy, called the police ignorant but said he supported them any ways after citing city code on what size of vehicle can legally park on a public street.

Statement Analysis Blog said...

Keep in mind, the defensive posture that says, "you are attacking the FBI!" is false.

This argument seeks to hide corrupt individuals by making an allegation against them against the entire entity. It seeks to protect the guilty by hiding them behind the innocent.

I was initially concerned about the FBI's reputation, but I have yet to read of any tangible attacks. Thus far it is the pattern of needlessly saying, "this is not about our good men and women of the FBI but of corruption."

Recall: in 2009, if you disagreed with President Obama, you were "racist" and should be both shamed and silenced.
Citizens were not to criticize him lest they be labeled. This verbal tyranny continues.


Mike Ro 2nd said...

There's no imperfect tense in English.

"have maintained" is present perfect, not "imperfect past" which doesn't exist.
"had maintained" would be past perfect

So, when you ask why present to past, we can't answer since there's no past tense in the statement.

"always" is an adverb

ima.grandma said...

"we have always": present perfect tense

'Always' expresses the manner in which something is done and denotes the time frame from (since forever), to the present current time expressing a situation that still continues to this day 

We have always maintained and still continue to maintain.

ima.grandma said...

Obama is blame shifting from I to we. He's telling the 'we' (go-betweens?) to keep silent or 'they' will also be accused of unethical behavior. 'If I go down; I'm taking all of you with me', empowering himself and bullying his way into control. He's telling the 'we', if 'they' speak out in a contradictory manner, 'they' will be the ones responsible for the repercussion fall out of the people's belief in our American government system.

ima.grandma said...

Could it be possible the 'we' are really 'victims' coerced to fall into rank? He was, after all, the POTUS at the time. Who's going to question or oppose the supreme commander! especially with his excellent communication and persuasive skills, utilizing the top evolutionary level of his wheelhouse. He Is (was) a great orator; I also fell into rank, as an insignificant menial observer of the times. I voted for him in 2008, specifically for these very qualities. Personal observation from one who would've followed him into his preconceived and announced future: President Obama could have changed history. He did not.

Tania Cadogan said...

Off topic

A British grandmother who has spent more than 15 years on death row in Texas has lost an appeal to the state's highest criminal court.

Linda Carty was sentenced to death after being convicted of the murder of her neighbour in Houston in May 2001.

Prosecutors alleged that Carty, now 59, had hired three men to kidnap Joana Rodridguez and her newborn son.

She planned to keep the child and pass it off as her own, they said.

But Carty has always maintained her innocence and her lawyers say she was convicted largely on the word of her co-accused.

She was granted a new hearing by the appeals court in 2016 to present what she claimed was new evidence proving her innocence.

Carty argued prosecutors had coerced witnesses and withheld evidence.

But a judge dismissed that appeal, saying there was overwhelming evidence of her guilt, and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has now confirmed his decision.

Carty was born on the Caribbean island of St Kitts when it was still subject to British rule and she retains a UK passport.

The Foreign Office has supported her cause and expressed concern about the prospect of her facing execution.

In an interview with Sky News on death row at Huntsville Prison in 2012, Carty protested her innocence and pleaded for more assistance from the UK.

She said: "I am 110% innocent.

"We are British. I can't wash off my nationality with soap and water. I am going to always be British.

"I won't get up and ask the British Government to go out in the public and lobby for me had I known that I am guilty because then it would be an embarrassment not only to myself and my family but also the country that I love.

"So for me when I say I am innocent and that I didn't commit this crime I mean that."

Her case has received celebrity backing and the support of campaigners at the human rights organisation Reprieve.

But the US Supreme Court refused to take up her case in 2010 and her legal options have continued to narrow.

She is one of more than 50 women on death rows across the United States, six of them in Texas.

How can someone be 110% innocent?
The maximum is 100% so if she is 110% we do not know nor does she tell us how far her scale climbs.
It could be 110,000,000 which would make her 110% minuscule.

Also embedded is had I known that I am guilty

Tania Cadogan said...

Obama's speeches were only as good as his speech writers.

When he had to speak freely without the aid of notes, speech writers etc he was dreadful.

Obama was good at reading out loudly

ima.grandma said...

In defense of the 'victims', whomever they be, in this case:

"Appeasing the alligator only assures that you'll be eaten last."

ima.grandma said...

Tania, Sometimes...sometimes it really is all about delivery. Human nature and all that it encompasses is a powerful conduit.:) May we all strive to learn from this natural phenomena of gravitation toward the charismatic.

Ladela said...

I agree with you Tania on Obama's speaking abilities. When he first came on the scene everyone was talking about what a great orator he was, comparing him to MLK. When I listened to him, with speech writers and teleprompters, I wasn't that impressed. When I heard him speak ad lib, no speeches or teleprompters, he was the stuttering 'um' king. I was shocked due to the hype.

MLK was a brilliant orator--Obama, not even close. And this was before he was elected.

Ladela said...


CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A Vermont man accused by family members of killing his millionaire grandfather and possibly his mother said several of his relatives are "being driven by malice and greed" and are spreading lies about him.

Nathan Carman has been called a suspect in the 2013 shooting death of 87-year-old real estate developer John Chakalos in Windsor, Connecticut. No one has been arrested. He also has been questioned about the day his boat sank with his mother, Linda Carman, aboard near Rhode Island in 2016. She is presumed dead. He was rescued a week later, after being found floating on a life raft in the Atlantic Ocean.

Carman, who lives in Vernon, Vermont, has denied any involvement in either case.

In July, his mother's three sisters filed a lawsuit in New Hampshire accusing him of killing Chakalos and possibly his mother. They have asked a judge to block him from collecting money from his grandfather's estate. Chakalos left more than $29 million to his four daughters, and $7 million of that money could go to Nathan Carman.

"I did not kill my grandfather or my mother, nor did I engage in the violent behavior in my childhood that has been reported," Carman said in statement released Wednesday.

"It is my aunts who are being driven by malice and greed to make the vexatious, false, and insupportable allegations which form the basis of their probate lawsuit in New Hampshire," he said.

Carman spoke for one of the first times since the lawsuit linking him to the disappearance of his grandfather and mother was filed. Beyond the comments in his one-page statement sent to The Associated Press, Carman refused to answer any questions.

Dan Small, an attorney representing the sisters, accused Carman of being "fixated on money" and said the Chakalos family only wanted "justice."

Small said in a statement the family has made it clear that if they win the case, "the proceeds that Linda would receive would be donated to charity in her name."

Carman said he was also firing his two attorneys in the New Hampshire case, Hubert Santos and Richard Thorner. He accused them of lacking basic competence and the time needed to devote the case. He also said he was worried they could not ensure the best outcome.

Carman said he would represent himself until he finds new attorneys.

"I plan to aggressively pursue all legal avenues available to me for rectifying the injustices which have already been perpetrated and obtaining a just outcome in the matters that are ongoing," he said.

Santos' law offices confirmed he is no longer involved in Carman's case in New Hampshire, nor the criminal investigation in Connecticut into the death of Carman's grandfather. Thorner did not respond to requests for comment.

Carman is fighting several legal battles. Along with the New Hampshire case, Carman and the insurer for his boat, the Chicken Pox, are fighting over his insurance claim in a Rhode Island court.

In December, National Liability & Fire Insurance asked a federal judge to force Carman to discuss what happened to a missing Sig Sauer .308-caliber semi-automatic rifle that he owned and matches the caliber used to kill his grandfather. Carman must also turn over 2016 phone records from Sept. 1 through Sept. 25, the day he was rescued.

The insurance company is seeking to avoid payment on an $85,000 policy for the boat Carman was on when he and his mother went missing at sea.

It seems Carman is doubling down. I don't think it will work out for him though.

Ladela said...


Did you listen to/have the record for "Free To Be, You and Me" ??

Marlo Thomas' "Ladies First" comes to mind with the alligator analogy!!

ima.grandma said...

Ladela, I like your witty comparison. I hadn't thought about Thomas' works in a long time. There are so many karma quotes swarming in my head.

Anonymous said...

I look forward to your analysis of the Rob Porter mess within the White House, his attempted denial, and the White House's attempted defense of him.

ima.grandma said...

Once aboard the Orient Lucky, Nathan radioed the Coast Guard an account of what had happened.
“Mom and I — two people, myself and my mom — were fishing at Block Canyon, and there was a funny noise in the engine compartment,” he said in a flat, dispassionate tone. “I looked and saw a lot of water … I was bringing one of the safety bags forward, the boat just dropped out from under my feet. When I saw the life raft, I did not see my mom. Have you found her?” 

Statement Analysis Blog said...

Rob Porter:

I saw one alleged victim's statement and likely reliable.

News reported that he disclosed this to FBI, who did not clear him for security. The White House took a real risk hiring him. Statement Analysis in the interview process would have readily screened him out.

His denial was markedly Unreliable but it is good for training in understanding human nature: he acknowledges the allegation but details within he does not.

It is typical.


New England Water Blog said...

From the late great comedian Mitch Hedburg "i used to do drugs, I still do but I used to also..."

Anonymous said...

Peter you didn't see through this wording???

Anonymous said...
I look forward to your analysis of the Rob Porter mess within the White House, his attempted denial, and the White House's attempted defense of him.
February 8, 2018 at 10:41 AM

his "attempted" denial?

"White House's attempted defense of him"?

He gave a denial, not an attempt, which you addressed but she wrote that the WH attempted to defend him? that is not true.

the hate knows no boundaries. rob porter beat his wife and it is the WH fault. I get it. Plus, Obamas 2015 policies all caused these huge companies to come back to the US and give out bonuses.

Anonymous said...
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Ladela said...

I know this is kind of off topic but I was watching Antonio Sabato Jr running for congress on the "View" today. He was asked about his claiming that Obama was a Muslim. He brought up the fact that Barry Sotero changed his name to a Muslim name, Barack Hussein Obama.

I thought it was a great way to bring up the topic.....

I'd vote for him, Sabato that is.

General P. Malaise said...

Blogger valyriew said...
Funny how u don’t find trump deceptive

Peter has done an article on Trump.

Why don't you put up a statement from Trump that you would like analysed? or post your analysis of a Trump statement.

Statement Analysis Blog said...

It's a waste of time.

She is not interested in truth. She is leftist who insults instead of answering analysis.

Thoughtful dialog always welcome.

The spam filter catches up, though.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

General P. Malaise said...
"Peter has done an article on Trump."

You mean the one where Peter had us analyze his own "anonymous" Breitbart comment?

General P. Malaise said...

Anonymous said...
General P. Malaise said...
"Peter has done an article on Trump."

this is on Trump's speaking / language style.