On Tuesday night, members of Congress, the administration, and other notable guests descended upon Capitol Hill to hear President Donald Trump's third annual address to a joint session of Congress. Among them was the president's oldest daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump, who didn't look too uncomfortable with the spotlight this year. Ivanka Trump's body language at the 2019 State of the Union suggested that she was pleased to be there. In fact, she had a sweet moment that expressed just how much she enjoyed the night.
The State of the Union this year took place on Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 9 p.m. ET. It was a one-week postponement after Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called off the initial Jan. 29 date in light of a partial government shutdown that lasted more than a month. Despite all the drama, Trump showed up at her dad's speech on Tuesday looking chic as usual. She wore an all-black military-style outfit with red striping down the sides, designed by Alexander McQueen, per E! News. To top off the gorgeous look, she added a black belt and some bright red lipstick.
As the president delivered his speech, which featured comments on topics such as immigration, the AIDS epidemic, criminal justice reform and an infrastructure plan, Trump was photographed clapping and smiling from ear-to-ear.
"She's truly excited about whatever she's hearing," says Traci Brown, a body language expert and author of How to Detect Lies, Fraud and Identity Theft: Field Guide, in an email to Elite Daily.
She also looked excited to be sitting next to Alice Marie Johnson (pictured above), who had served more than two decades of a life sentence for a nonviolent drug offense before being granted clemency by the president in June 2018. As the 63-year-old was applauded by the audience, Johnson became visibly emotional and Trump was right there to comfort her, reaching across her husband to touch her hand.
"[Trump and Jared Kushner are] going out of their way to make eye contact and reach really far just to touch her ... [Johnson] really appreciates the support," Brown explains. It's unsurprising that they might feel a connection with Johnson, given their role in securing her pardon. Kushner has reportedly been instrumental in pushing for criminal justice reform, and apparently worked closely with celebrity Kim Kardashian in championing Johnson's cause to the president.
Patti Wood, another body language expert and author of SNAP: Making The Most Of First Impressions, Body Language, And Charisma, also noted that it looked like Trump was comforting Johnson, but noted the timing of the touch could be significant. "This woman also got quite a lot of applause and Ivanka could have been reaching over to gain some of the admiration and make herself look good," she speculates via email, noting that the president had done something similar when he spoke in honor of survivors of World War II.
Similarly, Trump seemed to be pretty in her element attending the 2018 speech, body language experts told Elite Daily at the time. Of course, she's been involved in her father's business, his presidential campaign, and now his presidency for multiple years, and doubtless knows most of the key players in the room. Though she's faced some backlash in Washington, she's a businesswoman in her own right who has carved out a niche for herself in the White House.
On the other hand, she's spent the majority of the last several months laying pretty low, posting less on social media and making few public-facing appearances. So it was a change to see her out and about.
It would've been understandable if Trump was a bit on edge — probably most of Washington was, too. President Trump's speech came amid a tense negotiating session for lawmakers to come up with a deal that everyone agrees on by Feb. 15 to fund the government for the end of the fiscal year. They were tasked with creating a plan after the record-breaking shutdown, which began on Dec. 22 and ended on Jan. 25, with Trump and his counterparts in Congress agreeing to pass a temporary measure to reopen the government while lawmakers hash out details of funding. But Trump himself, in an interview Jan. 27 with The Wall Street Journal, said he thought there was a "less than 50-50" chance they'd succeed. So tensions have been high in the capital as the window to avoid another shutdown rapidly closes.
But Trump appeared to handle it all phenomenally, so bravo for her. We'll see how this energy holds up as the political drama continues to play out.