A Republican House committee chairman took to the floor on Tuesday to criticize the media for broadcasting the word “shithole” as reportedly used by President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's top adviser on Asia to serve as deputy national security adviser United Auto Workers strike against GM poised to head into eighth day Trump doubles down on call to investigate Biden after whistleblower complaint: 'That's the real story' MORE during an Oval Office meeting on immigration last week.

Rep. Lamar SmithLamar Seeligson SmithDemocratic staffer says Wendy Davis will run for Congress Ex-GOP Rep. Roskam joins lobbying firm Anti-corruption group hits Congress for ignoring K Street, Capitol Hill 'revolving door' MORE (R-Texas), the chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, didn’t try to dispute that Trump used the word to disparage immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African nations compared to people from places like Norway.

Instead, Smith targeted his ire at the media for repeating it.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We already knew from their daily attacks that the media disdained the president. What we didn’t know with a certainty until last week was that the media also disdained the American family,” Smith said in a House floor speech.

“How else to explain their front-paging and televising at all hours a four-letter expletive that would be seen by children across America?” he asked.

Smith lamented the decision by many media outlets to broadcast or print the word “shithole” in full instead of censoring it.

“There was a time when the media would show some respect for family values, but no more,” he said.

Some Republicans have joined Democrats in condemning Trump’s remarks, which came during an Oval Office meeting with lawmakers about a possible compromise allowing young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children to stay in the country while enhancing border security.

Rep. Mia LoveLudmya (Mia) LoveFormer GOP lawmaker: Trump's tweets have to stop Congressional Women's Softball team releases roster The 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority MORE (R-Utah), who is of Haitian-American descent, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” over the weekend that Trump’s comments were “indefensible” and racist

Two GOP senators in the Oval Office meeting, meanwhile, initially said they did not recall Trump making the comments during the meeting last Thursday. But by Sunday, Sens. David Perdue (R-Ga.) and Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonZuckerberg woos Washington critics during visit Zuckerberg to meet with lawmakers to discuss 'future internet regulation' 2020 Democrats raise alarm about China's intellectual property theft MORE (R-Ark.) denied that Trump said the word “shithole.”

Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeFlake donates to Democratic sheriff being challenged by Arpaio in Arizona The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says US-China trade talks to resume, hails potential trade with Japan, UK Joe Arpaio to run for Maricopa County sheriff in 2020  MORE (R-Ariz.), a frequent Trump critic who is not seeking reelection, plans to deliver a Senate floor speech on Wednesday comparing the president’s attacks on the media to rhetoric used by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.

“I would hope that more of my Republican colleagues would stand up and say, 'That's not proper, Mr. President,’” Flake told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday.

Smith, on the other hand, regularly delivers speeches on the House floor to criticize the mainstream media.

Since Trump took office a year ago, Smith has taken to the House floor to urge Americans to “get your news directly from the president” because “it might be the only way to get the unvarnished truth,” blame the media for the public anger that led a gunman to fire at GOP lawmakers practicing baseball last June and criticize CNN for refusing to air a Trump campaign ad that referred to the media as “fake news.”

Smith has served as chairman of the Science panel since 2013. He will not seek reelection this year due in part to House GOP conference rules that limit committee chairmen to three consecutive two-year terms.