Freshman Rep. Andy Ogles (R-Tenn.) has taken the embarrassing L of acknowledging that he “misrepresented” his college major, after a local news outlet uncovered his deception.
Ogles has claimed on a resumé and background check form that he majored in international relations with minors in psychology and English. His Congressional biography said that he “studied policy and economics” in college. But Ogles admitted this week that his degree was actually in liberal studies—typically a major for people who cannot decide on a major—and claimed he only learned about the discrepancy last week after he requested his transcript from Middle Tennessee State University. (Ogles has since made multiple changes to his House biography.)
Nashville TV station WTVF has been looking into Ogles’ background and found that he’s been calling himself an economist, which isn’t even the major he lied about.
WTVF had previously tried to get Ogles’ transcript, but they said MTSU “refused to confirm Ogles’ degree, citing a provision of federal law that allows students to block the release of their educational credentials.” Huh! Ogles told a Nashville talk radio station that he did block the school from releasing his information, but claimed it was for security reasons. “I would encourage anyone to lock down your transcripts, lock down your credit, so you’re not a victim of identity theft,” he told the host.
Well, on Monday morning, WTVF published his transcript that it obtained via a public records request, because Ogles submitted it when applying for a job. His major? Liberal studies. His economics coursework? One community college class in which he got a C.
Ogles began his damage control the night before, presumably after the outlet contacted him for comment. In a statement submitted to conservative outlet the Tennessee Star, Ogles said, “I previously stated that my degree from MTSU was in International Relations. When I pulled my transcript to verify, I realized I was mistaken. My degree is in Liberal Studies. I apologize for my misstatement.”
Jezebel contacted Ogles’s office and a spokesperson said they had no additional comment at this time.
This doesn’t appear to be a second (or third?) George Santos situation—though Ogles does seem to have also overstated his experience working in law enforcement and anti-trafficking. But it sure is funny.