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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 TrumpVenezuela judge orders prison time for 6 American oil executives Trump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation 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 TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - COVID-19 fears surround Thanksgiving holiday Women set to take key roles in Biden administration New York expands Trump tax fraud investigations to include write-offs: report MORE, White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayWomen set to take key roles in Biden administration Lara Trump mulling 2022 Senate run in North Carolina: report Press: Where is Jim Baker when we need him? MORE and Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamLet's give thanks to Republican defenders of Democracy Clyburn: Biden falling short on naming Black figures to top posts Feinstein departure from top post sets stage for Judiciary fight 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.