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GOP Rep. Ogles Admits He Was 'Mistaken' About His College Degree (VIDEO)

Rep. Andy Ogles (R-TN), charged in recent bombshell reports with embellishing his credentials, released a statement on the discrepancy between the educational background he touted on the campaign trail and what he actually studied: “When I pulled out my transcript to verify, I realized I was mistaken.”

Ogles — a freshman and one of the holdouts in Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)’s speakership bid — faced backlash after a NewsChannel 5 investigation earlier this month questioned Ogle’s claims of being an economist, a former law enforcement member, and even a human trafficking expert.

In an effort at damage control, Ogles told a Nashville radio station on Sunday that he “doesn’t recall ever saying I had an economics degree” because “I've been quite clear that I studied political science and international relations."

However, even that was a lie. Ogles had actually pursued liberal studies, not political science and international relations as he had so often claimed, even since his election -- as NewsChannel 5’s Phil Williams reported Monday, citing an MTSU transcript Ogles appended to a job application over a decade ago.

The transcript also revealed that the only formal training Ogles received in economics was a community college Principle of Economics course, in which he earned a “C.” The Republican lawmaker also scored a “C” in American History and failed the nine political science courses he took during college, the transcript showed, per the New Republic.

Ogles preemptively issued a statement on Sunday night — hours before NewsChannel 5 released its exposé on his college transcript — claiming that it wasn’t until he requested an official copy of his transcript that he realized he had been “mistaken” about his background.

"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," the statement read.

Ogles said he transferred to Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) during his senior year to pursue a degree in political science and international relations.

“Due to an interfamilial matter, I dropped out of college and returned home to financially support my family during a difficult time. Though leaving school was a difficult decision, it was the right one. I would do the same thing again today, even though withdrawing left several incomplete grades that would ultimately be registered as failing," he wrote.

“After completing the online courses, I was awarded a Bachelor of Science, and MTSU mailed me my college degree a few months later. At the time, it was my understanding I had completed my course of study in Political Science and International Relations.

"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 added.

And as for his claim of being a “trained economist,” Ogles suggested to NewsChannel 5 in an interview that a “historical” link existed between political science and economics.

"It looked at political science from, you know, not only the historical perspective but the economic perspective," Ogles said. "So that was really my first taste into economics and understanding the dynamics that go into place of why certain countries are allies."

Randy Stamps, the former political director for the Tennessee Republican Party, blasted Ogles for exuding a “level of deception” fast becoming rampant in today’s GOP.

“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,” Stamps told NewsChannel 5.

“If he is willing to run around and say, ‘Hey, I’m an economist,’ who knows what else he is going to tell you that is not true,” Stamps added.

Yet Another Manic Fabricator Unmasked Among House GOP Freshmen

Yet Another Manic Fabricator Unmasked Among House GOP Freshmen

Television station WTVF's Phil Williams has reported that Tennessee Rep. Andy Ogles appears to have fabricated large portions of his life, with Williams writing that the freshman Republican has claimed to be "an economist, a nationally recognized expert in tax policy and health care, a trained police officer, even an expert in international sex crimes"— none of which appears to be true. Ogles won his first term last year in a newly gerrymandered Middle Tennessee district, and he went on to oppose Kevin McCarthy for speaker on 11 straight ballots before finally falling into line.

During last year's primary, Ogles presented himself "as a former member of law enforcement" in a debate, saying he'd "worked in international sex crimes, specifically child trafficking." He also made similar claims during the campaign and in his first weeks in office.

But Williams explains that the only law enforcement background Ogles had was his brief service as a volunteer reserve deputy in the Williamson County Sheriff's Office starting in 2009―a gig that ended just two years later after he failed to meet the minimum requirements for participation or even attend meetings. A spokesperson for the sheriff added, "There is nothing in Mr. Ogles' training or personnel file that indicates he had any involvement in 'international sex trafficking' in his capacity as a reserve deputy."

Williams also found that, while the congressman has claimed to have "oversee[n] operations and investments in 12 countries" as the chief operating officer of a group that works to stop human trafficking, his tax returns show he was paid all of $4,000 for part-time work. There's also no evidence that Ogles ever received an education in economics or worked as an economist. However, unlike fellow first-term Republican fabricators George Santos and Anna Paulina Luna, it appears that Ogles has not claimed to be Jewish.

Williams wasn't the first Tennessee journalist to question Ogles. In late January, the Tennessee Lookout's Sam Stockard reported that Ogles claimed to be a graduate of Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management when records show he actually went through the school's executive education program. Those two programs may sound similar but they're nothing alike. "Participants in the short-term, non-degree programs typically receive a certificate, according to a Vanderbilt spokesman," wrote Stockard. "In other words, he probably attended a few hours of lectures and got a piece of paper."

State Sen. Heidi Campbell, the Democrat Ogles defeated 56-42 last year, also says she had some idea about her opponent's other alleged lies, specifically his supposed law enforcement background, but none of these stories surfaced during the primary, where Ogles defeated former state House Speaker Beth Harwell 35-25, nor in the general.

Ogles' campaign finances are also a shambles. The month after his win, the Federal Election Commission threatened to audit the incoming congressman over his fundraising reports; among other things, he failed to properly identify donors and recorded accepting multiple contributions over the legal $2,900 limit. Williams further reported last month that Ogles has alsofailed to file the personal financial disclosures that all federal candidates are required to submit.

Campbell now argues that she might have won had her opponent's alleged fabrications emerged during the campaign, though Tennessee Republicans last year did everything they could to make sure that any Republican would win the Fifth District. While Nashville's Davidson County had been contained in a single congressional district since the 1950s, the GOP's new gerrymander divided it between three different constituencies and immediately transformed the 5th District from safely blue to solidly red.

Veteran Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper decided to retire right after his seat morphed from a 60-37 Biden district to one Trump carried 54-43, and Ogles went on to beat Campbell in a race that almost everyone agreed would be an easy GOP pickup. Ogles' victory, as well as the successful re-election campaigns of fellow Republican Reps. John Rose and Mark Green, ensured that Nashville would be represented by Republicans for the first time since Horace Harrison left office in 1875 after losing his bid for another term.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.