Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) arrives for a Senate Armed Services Committee closed briefing July 30, 2014 in Washington, D.C.
CNN  — 

Republican presidential candidate Lindsey Graham said his niece, Emily, was in an 8th grade English class with Dylann Roof, the suspect in the Charleston church massacre.

“He was quiet, strange, very unsocial and everyone thought he was on drugs,” Graham, a U.S. Senator from South Carolina, said of the suspect in an telephone interview with CNN, relaying the description from his niece Emily and sister Darline Graham Nordone.

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Graham, who is on his way to Charleston, said his niece did not recall Roof making any statements that were related to race.

“I just think he was one of these whacked out kids. I don’t think it’s anything broader than that,” Graham said. “It’s about a young man who is obviously twisted.”

“No one at home [in South Carolina] believes this represents us. We don’t want to be judged by him,” Graham said.