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 TrumpSunday shows preview: Shutdown negotiations continue after White House immigration proposal Rove warns Senate GOP: Don't put only focus on base Ann Coulter blasts Trump shutdown compromise: ‘We voted for Trump and got Jeb!’ 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 TrumpBuzzFeed story has more to say about media than the president 'Vice' director shrugs off report that Ivanka and Jared walked out of screening Former PepsiCo CEO being considered for World Bank chief post: report MORE, White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayConservatives pound BuzzFeed, media over Cohen report Trump 2020 campaign manager hits George Conway: 'Think how bad of a husband you have to be' Trump’s polls sag amid wall fight MORE and Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump pitches new plan to reopen government amid Dem pushback Democrats signal they'll reject Trump shutdown proposal Dems revive impeachment talk after latest Cohen bombshell 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.