Newsmax CEO introduces himself at Trump event as an 'enemy of the people' who supports president

Newsmax CEO introduces himself at Trump event as an 'enemy of the people' who supports president
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Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy described himself as an "enemy of the people" who supports President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff pleads to Senate GOP: 'Right matters. And the truth matters.' Anita Hill to Iowa crowd: 'Statute of limitations' for Biden apology is 'up' Sen. Van Hollen releases documents from GAO investigation MORE during an event Tuesday evening, amid a recent escalation in tensions between the White House and the press.

Ruddy was among roughly 30 business leaders who attended a dinner with Trump at his New Jersey golf course on Tuesday. After the president delivered remarks about his administration's economic successes, several guests went around the room and made brief remarks.

Ruddy, a friend of Trump's who runs the conservative website, introduced himself as "an enemy of the people that actually supports Donald J. Trump."

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Some in the room laughed at Ruddy's comments, a reference to the latest moniker the president has deployed against the news media.

"Thank you very much, Chris," Trump responded.

Ruddy recently defended Trump's outbursts toward the press, saying he believes it "comes out of emotion" in response to negative coverage.

The president has had a tense relationship with the media since he hit the campaign trail in 2015. He frequently labels coverage he dislikes "fake news" and has threatened to pull press credentials, and the White House last month barred a CNN reporter from covering an open press event.

Trump has recently taken to describing the media as the "enemy of the people," using the label despite the urging of critics who have pointed to potential violence facing the news media after a gunman killed five people at a Maryland newspaper office in June.

The president seemed to escalate his rhetoric on Sunday, when he called reporters "dangerous & sick" in a tweet and claimed they can "cause war!"

White House adviser and Trump's daughter Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpOvernight Energy: Study finds 'forever chemicals' in more locations | Trump officials approve Keystone XL pipeline right-of-way | Warren asks banks for climate plans Gore praises Greta Thunberg after meeting: 'Nobody speaks truth to power as she does' Ivanka Trump refuses to criticize Greta Thunberg: 'She's elevated awareness' MORE, White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayKellyanne Conway knocks Biden, talks up Sanders in Wash Post op-ed Democrats sharpen case on second day of arguments 'Emotion' from Trump's legal team wins presidential plaudits MORE and Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamDemocrats hammer abuse of power charge, allege Trump put self over country Video becomes vital part of Democrats' case against Trump Nadler plays 1999 clip of Graham defining high crimes: 'It doesn't even have to be a crime' MORE (R-S.C.) are among those who have said in the last week they don't believe journalists are the enemy of the people.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has insisted that the administration is committed to a free press, amid repeated criticism for some officials' hostile rhetoric toward journalists.