NRA lobbyist rants after avoiding Obama town hall: 'What are we going to talk about, basketball?'
Megyn Kelly interviews NRA lobbyist Chris Cox on Jan. 7, 2016. (Media Matters)

The head of the National Rifle Association's lobbying arm accused President Barack Obama on Thursday of perpetrating a distraction by taking part in a televised town hall -- one his organization did not attend, Media Matters reported.


"He doesn't support the individual right to own a firearm. That's been the position of his Supreme Court nominees. That's been the position of his administration," Chris Cox told Fox News host Megyn Kelly. "So what are we going to talk about, basketball? I'm not really interested in going over and talking to the president who doesn't have a basic level of respect or understanding of the Second Amendment and law-abiding gun owners in this country."

The president ripped Cox's organization during the event, which was aired on CNN, pointing out to host Anderson Cooper that the NRA was invited to participate alongside other gun enthusiasts as well as gun safety advocates.

"There's a reason that the NRA isn't here. They're right down the street," Obama said, making reference to the group's Virginia headquarters. "You think they'd be prepared to have a debate with the President."

Cox told Kelly that the NRA refused because it was only allowed to submit one pre-screened question, as did everyone else who participated.

"This president is trying to create an illusion that he's doing something to keep people safe," he said. "He needs to do that because the truth is his policies have failed miserably."

Watch footage from the interview, as posted by Media Matters on Thursday, below.