(CNN)Republican Sen. Mike Lee on Thursday criticized House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for repeatedly calling President Trump's chief strategist, Steve Bannon, a "white supremacist."
Sen. Lee slams Pelosi for labeling Bannon a 'white supremacist'
"I think this is nonsense," said Lee, speaking on CNN's "Wolf." "I think this is defamatory. I think she's acting with reckless disregard for the truth. I wish people would stop throwing out arguments like that."
Lee, the junior senator from Utah, was responding to Pelosi, who earlier in the day said she was stunned by the appointment of Bannon to the National Security Council and twice called him a white supremacist.
"It's a stunning thing, that a white supremacist would be a permanent member of the National Security Council," said Pelosi, D-California, speaking in her weekly news conference.
Lee said he does not object to the minority leader taking issue with President Trump's policies, but admonished her to avoid ad hominem attacks.
"If they want to focus on a particular policy, fine," he said, speaking to Wolf Blitzer. "But its time for them to stop throwing around dangerous labels like that one."
"That's not helpful," he continued. "That's not part of productive discourse for this country and I encourage Speaker Pelosi and anyone else who is inclined to use language like that to respectfully refrain from it. Focus on the policy. Stop attacking the person."