Tennessee Republican Andy Ogles acknowledges misstating his college degree

Rep. Andy Ogles (R-Tenn.) has acknowledged he previously misstated his college degree, noting that he received a degree in liberal studies and not international relations, as questions swirl regarding his background.

Ogles, a first-term congressman, said he learned of the mistake after requesting an official copy of his transcript to verify his degree.

“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,” Ogles wrote in a statement on Sunday, referring to Middle Tennessee State University.

The correction comes as Ogles faces skepticism about his resume. Earlier this month, Tennessee station WTVF published an extensive report detailing “exaggerations” from the GOP lawmaker’s personal story, zeroing in on claims that he is an economist and a human trafficking expert, among others.

The WTVF report also explored Ogles’s education. According to the outlet, a 2019 resume said Ogles received a degree in international relations from Middle Tennessee State University, in addition to minors in psychology and English. Those degrees are also listed on a background check form included in WTVF’s report. And, in a previous version of his congressional bio flagged by the outlet, Ogles said he “studied policy and economics” at the university.

In his statement on Sunday, Ogles said he transferred to Middle Tennessee State University in his senior year of college to study political science and international relations. But he later dropped out because of “an interfamilial matter” and “returned home to financially support my family during a difficult time.”

He said he returned to finish his final semester at the university in the mid-2000s as a nontraditional student, and after completing online courses, he received a bachelor of science degree.

“At the time, it was my understanding I had completed my course of study in Political Science and International Relations,” Ogles wrote. “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.”

Ogles was elected in November to represent Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District. He drew headlines in his first week in Washington, opting against supporting Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for Speaker on the first 11 ballots. On the 12th vote, however, he threw his support behind the California Republican.

Ogles is not the only first-term member of Congress facing questions about his background. Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) has drawn intense scrutiny amid questions about his biography and finances. The congressman admitted to embellishing parts of his resume, and is now said to be facing a number of investigations.

Tags Andy Ogles Andy Ogles House Republicans Tennessee

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