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 TrumpUS reimposes UN sanctions on Iran amid increasing tensions Jeff Flake: Republicans 'should hold the same position' on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Trump supporters chant 'Fill that seat' at North Carolina rally MORE during an Oval Office meeting on immigration last week.

Rep. Lamar SmithLamar Seeligson SmithOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Cheney asks DOJ to probe environmental groups | Kudlow: 'No sector worse hurt than energy' during pandemic | Trump pledges 'no politics' in Pebble Mine review Cheney asks DOJ to probe environmental groups  How effective are protests and riots for changing America? 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.


“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 NFL player Burgess Owens wins Utah GOP primary The Hill's Campaign Report: The political heavyweights in Tuesday's primary fights The biggest political upsets of the decade 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 CottonTom Bryant CottonRenewed focus on Trump's Supreme Court list after Ginsburg's death Republicans call for DOJ to prosecute Netflix executives for releasing 'Cuties' Loeffler calls for hearing in wake of Netflix's 'Cuties' MORE (R-Ark.) denied that Trump said the word “shithole.”

Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeJeff Flake: Republicans 'should hold the same position' on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Republican former Michigan governor says he's voting for Biden Maybe they just don't like cowboys: The president is successful, some just don't like his style 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.