Lindsey Graham on Charleston shooter: 'It's him ... not the flag'

(CNN)South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham blames 21-year-old Dylann Roof, the man who shot and killed nine African Americans praying in Charleston, for his actions, and the presidential hopeful doesn't want the Confederate flag to be used as an excuse.

"We're not going to give this a guy an excuse about a book he might have read or a movie he watched or a song he listened to or a symbol out anywhere. It's him ... not the flag," the Republican senator told CNN's "New Day" Alisyn Camerota.
Should the Confederate flag still fly?
Should the Confederate flag still fly?

    JUST WATCHED

    Should the Confederate flag still fly?

MUST WATCH

Should the Confederate flag still fly? 01:27
One of the common photos of Roof circulated in the media is one of him seen posing by a car featuring a South Carolina license plate depicting the Confederate flag.
    When Graham was asked his thoughts regarding the Confederate flag, he said, "It works here, that's what the statehouse agreed to do. You could probably visit other places in the country near some symbol that doesn't quite strike you right."
    The senator's comments contrasted with those of President Barack Obama, a White House spokesman said Friday afternoon.
    "The president has said before he believes the Confederate flag belongs in a museum. That's still his position," Eric Schultz said.
    Graham says he believes the current gun law procedure on background checks should be modified in such a way where people who do have some record of criminal activities or felonies cannot obtain guns.
    After acknowledging approximately 40,000 people failed a background check and 9,000 of them were felons, Graham questioned how people are added to a background system that he said does not work for the American people.
    "The solutions to problems like this are probably not one law away," he added.
    Graham said he believes the reason why people are able to obtain guns even with a criminal backgrounds are due to a lack of resources.
    "If I get to be President of the United States, you fail a criminal background check, you try to buy a gun when you're not supposed to, you're going to meet the law head on," Graham said.