- Freshman Rep. Andy Ogles claimed he had a degree in “policy and economics” while campaiging.
- On Sunday, he said after reviewing his transcript that he graduated with “Liberal Studies” degree.
- Ogles’ resume is filled with embellishments, as are many other GOP newcomers to Congress.
GOP Rep. Andy Ogles admitted on Sunday that he never actually received a degree in “International Relations” from Middle Tennessee State University, but actually a degree in “Liberal Studies.”
Ogles, a freshman representative from Tennessee, originally claimed on the campaign trail that he had a degree in international policy and economics, according to Nashville’s NewsChannel5. He later doubled down on the claim, adding it to his biography on his Congressional website before removing it from the website on Monday.
But while it’s true Ogles studied at Middle Tennessee State University, he did not major in international policy nor economics. Instead, he majored in “Liberal Studies,” a general education degree.
Ogles revealed the misstep in a statement to The Tennessee Star on Sunday, a day before NewsChannel5 published his complete college transcript.
“It was my understanding I had completed my course of study in Political Science and International Relations,” Ogles said in a statement. “Last week, I requested an official copy of my transcript and learned that I was actually awarded a broader degree in Liberal Studies with minors in Political Science and English.”
A pattern of embellishment
In addition to mischaracterizing his major in college, Ogles has recently repeatedly referenced his time combating human trafficking and fighting international sex crimes, claims that are dubious.
Ogles worked at a small Nashville-based nonprofit, Abolition International, as the COO where he said he oversaw “operations and investments in 12 countries to fight human trafficking.”
But in reality, he was brought in to help with marketing, a former manager of the nonprofit told Insider.
Additionally, in many of his interviews, Ogles has cast himself as an “economist,” specifically citing his time working under Arthur Laffer, the founder of the right-wing Laffer Center for Supply-Side Economics.
An Insider interview with Laffer, however, revealed that Ogles’ role working with Laffer primarily didn’t involve economics — instead, Laffer claimed Ogles mainly worked in fundraising, though he didn’t question Ogles’ claim of being an economist.
“An economist is a person who works in economics,” Laffer told Insider. “I don’t think a PhD is required to be called an economist.”
Ogles isn’t the only freshman member of Congress recently accused of embellishing his biography on the campaign trail. Rep. George Santos 0f New York lied about his religion, college education, and employment history but has vowed to stay in office.
Additionally, Rep. Anna Paulina Luna of Florida claimed on the campaign trail that she was Jewish.
“I was raised as a Messianic Jew by my father,” Luna said.
But according to three of her relatives who spoke with the Washington Post, her father was actually Catholic, nor was there any indication he practiced any form of Judaism. Her relatives also revealed that her paternal grandfather served in the armed forces of Nazi Germany in the 1940s.