GOP congressman apologises for claiming he was a trained economist – after taking one class in which he got a C
A Republican lawmaker from Tennessee has apologised after admitting he lied about being a “trained economist” on his Congressional biography.
First-term Congressman Andy Ogles claimed to have graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in International Relations.
However, Nashville’s NewsChannel5 obtained Mr Ogles’ college transcript which showed he had received a degree in Liberal Studies, and only taken a single economics class for which he received a C.
In a statement issued on Sunday, the Freedom Caucus member apologised.
“I previously stated that my degree from MTSU was in International Relations. When I pulled my transcript to verify, I realised I was mistaken,” he said. “I apologise for my misstatement.”
Mr Ogles said he had been a “non-traditional student”, having dropped out of college before returning to complete his final semester through distance learning.
“At the time, it was my understanding I had completed my course of study in Political Science and International Relations,” he said. “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.”
He claimed he tried to block media outlets from accessing his college transcript out of fear of identity theft.
Randy Stamps, a former Tennessee Republican Party political director who endorsed Mr Ogle’s Democratic opponent, told NewsChannel5 that it showed how fundamentally dishonest he was.
“What it shows is the level of deception that he is willing to participate in in order to get elected to the United States Congress — and that’s disturbing,” Mr Stamps told the news outlet.
Mr Ogles had repeatedly trumpeted his credentials as an economist in interviews, on the campaign trail and in a C-Span interview.
Mr Ogle is the latest Republican freshman lawmaker found to have either embellished or lied about their resume.
George Santos, of New York, has been unmasked as a serial liar since he was elected in November.
And earlier this month, Florida representative Anna Paulina Luna was found to have exaggerated or changed details about her ethnic heritage, family life, and history with firearms in a Washington Post expose.
Mr Ogles was one of 20 far-right GOP House members who opposed Kevin McCarthy’s Speaker bid.