Rep. Andy Ogles (R-Tenn.) admitted to misstating his college history after reports that he embellished his resume in a case echoing the lies of another first-term GOP lawmaker, Rep. George Santos.
“I previously stated that my degree from [Middle Tennessee State University] was in International Relations,” Ogles said in a statement obtained by the Tennessee Star. “When I pulled my transcript to verify, I realized I was mistaken. My degree is in Liberal Studies. I apologize for my misstatement.”
Ogles said he transferred to Middle Tennessee as a senior to study political science and international relations, but dropped out “due to an interfamilial matter” and to help his family financially. He said he completed his studies years later through the university’s distance learning program and was awarded a degree in 2007.
“After completing the online courses, I was awarded a Bachelor of Science, and MTSU mailed me my degree a few months later,” Ogles said. “At the time, it was my understanding I had completed my course of study in Political Science and International Relations.”
He said he realized he actually received a broader degree in liberal studies, with minors in political science and English, after receiving his official transcript last week.
Ogles made the disclosure after a report by Nashville’s WTVF-TV earlier this month raised questions about his background.
While Ogles touted his experience as an economist during his campaign last year and during recent appearances, WTVF revealed he never received formal economics training, apart from a community college “Principle of Economics” course in which he got a C, according to his Middle Tennessee transcript.
The network cited an earlier version of Ogles’ biography, which said he got a degree in economics and policy from Middle Tennessee. Another version of his resume from 2009 said he majored in international relations and minored in English and psychology.
His bio on his website now states: “Andy obtained his degree from MTSU.”
Ogles also seems to have embellished his resume relating to his work against human trafficking. Ogles claimed he worked as COO of Abolition International, “overseeing operations and investments in 12 countries.” WTVF reported the organization wasn’t operating in 12 countries during his time there.
His current biography says he managed operations and investments in “several countries.”
Ogles’ misstatements echo falsehoods spread by Santos, who has been under fire for lying about his employment and education record, and is the subject of several investigations.
Ogles was among Republican House members who resisted Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s bid for House speaker in January. Ogles opposed McCarthy for the first 11 rounds of voting, then switched to favor McCarthy in the last four rounds.