WATCH: Reps 'not afraid of NRA,' key GOP lawmaker says

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), an ardent supporter of President Trump, says the president is wrong that his GOP colleagues are afraid of the National Rifle Association (NRA), as well as when Trump says “comprehensive” gun legislation is the best way to prevent future school shootings. 

One day after Trump held a bipartisan meeting with lawmakers in which he said many “are petrified of the NRA,” Cole, who describes himself as a “real conservative” tells The Hill it would be be better for Congress to tackle “several” smaller bills on gun violence.

"I noticed the president yesterday saying he likes the word ‘comprehensive,’ ” Cole said in a Thursday interview. “Well, with all due respect to the president, I don't like the word ‘comprehensive,' " adding that he'd rather proceed "incrementally and cumulatively."

Asked to respond to Trump’s assertion during the meeting that many Republicans are scared of the NRA’s political clout, Cole replied with a chuckle, “I mean, you're not afraid. I think you have principles and positions that you ran on, and you're not going to throw them out.”

Cole, a deputy whip for the majority, says he’s confident that the House could pass a stand-alone measure to strengthen the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) even if, unlike its last passage, it wasn’t attached to a concealed carry reciprocity bill. 

Trump indicated during his Wednesday meeting that measures to expand concealed carry could be a poison pill for Democrats. 

"I am for concealed carry. I have zero problem with what we did with that bill, I think it's perfectly appropriate. But I also recognize political reality and when you did that, you lost every Democratic vote,” Cole said. 

Click on the video above to hear Cole in his own words.