Trump dismisses backlash to SoulCycle: 'I think it just makes Steve much hotter'

Trump dismisses backlash to SoulCycle: 'I think it just makes Steve much hotter'
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump reversed course on flavored e-cigarette ban over fear of job losses: report Trump to award National Medal of Arts to actor Jon Voight Sondland notified Trump officials of investigation push ahead of Ukraine call: report MORE on Friday dismissed the backlash against Stephen Ross, who has faced an outcry from SoulCycle customers since news leaked of the fundraiser he's hosting for the president in the Hamptons, N.Y., on Friday.

Ross, a longtime friend of Trump's, is the chairman of The Related Companies, which owns a majority stake in SoulCycle and Equinox.

"Stephen Ross is a great friend of mine, he’s a very successful guy," Trump told reporters as he left the White House for the fundraising event. 

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"By the way, I think he’s probably more inclined to be a liberal, if you want to know the truth," Trump continued. "But he likes me. He respects me."

The president said he believes the controversy surrounding the event may ultimately benefit Ross's profile.  

"I think it just makes Steve much hotter,” Trump said. "He’ll figure that out in about a week, but he’s very happy."

High-profile clients of SoulCycle and Equinox, including stars such as model Chrissy Teigen and comedian Billy Eichner, have called for boycotts of the fitness facilities. 

Ross said in a statement that he disagrees with the president on many issues and agrees with him on others.

"I have been, and will continue to be, an outspoken champion of racial equality, inclusion, diversity, public education and environmental sustainability, and I have and will continue to support leaders on both sides of the aisle to address these challenges,” he said.