Cori Bush approaches $500,000 private security campaign cash despite repeated calls to cut police funding
FIRST ON FOX: Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., has spent nearly $500,000 in campaign funds for private security services despite her recent doubling of her support for police funding, federal filings show.
The Bush campaign paid more than $100,000 for “security services” throughout the third quarter of 2022, according to Federal Election Commission records. His campaign donated $71,201.06 to Peace Security, a St. Louis-based private security company. Most of the remaining $30,000 for “security services” went to Cortney Merrits and Nathaniel Davis, whose addresses listed in the documents are the same as Bush’s campaign headquarters.
Bush has now invested more than $490,000 in private security for the 2022 election cycle as she remains one of the last Democrats to openly call for defunding the police.
During a “Good Morning America” interview earlier this month, Bush was hesitant to say his support for defunding the police could hurt progressives ahead of November’s midterm elections. She argued that critics of the defund the police movement “spend more time focusing on the word ‘funding’ than they spend addressing and solving the problem of police brutality.”
CORI BUSH NEARLY $400,000 IN CAMPAIGN MONEY TO PRIVATE SECURITY WHILE REFUSING TO WITHHOLD FUNDING POLICE CALLS
“The problem with defunding the police is that we have to tell the whole story,” she said. “People hear ‘defund the police’. But you know what they’ll say? Say ‘reassign’, say ‘divest’, say ‘displace’. But it’s still the same thing.”
“We can’t catch up on words,” she added. “People spend more time focusing on the word ‘defund’ than they spend dealing with and solving the problem of policing in this country.”
During an appearance this month on CNN, Bush insisted that “there is no data that actually shows that saying ‘defund the police’ costs real elections.”
“If you could do it again, would you double down again or use that slogan, ‘defund the police’?” CNN’s Don Lemon asked the Democrat.
“Absolutely,” she replied.
Fox News Digital first reported on Bush’s security payments in July 2021, prompting questions from CBS News about the money and whether it was hypocritical to hire security while pushing to deprive law enforcement from their budgets.
“They would prefer that I die?” Bush asked. “Would you rather I died?” Is this what you want to see? Do you want to see me die? You know, because that could be the alternative.
CORI BUSH DEFENDS CALL TO DEFUND POLICE WHILE HAVING PRIVATE SECURITY: ‘YOU RATHER THAN I DIE?’
Bush said she would make sure she was safe, because she’s had assassination attempts and she has “too much work to do.”
“So swallow it, and the defunding of the police has to happen,” she added.
St. Louis KMOV4 later discovered that Bush had hired two sheriff’s deputies, Tylance Jackson and Maurice Thompson, as part of his security department.
The discovery led to the firing of Jackson and Thompson, who did not get approval for the side gig, St. Louis Sheriff Vernon Betts said at the time.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Other ‘Squad’ members who voiced support for the defund the police movement also paid for private security in the third quarter, including Rep. Ilhan Omar’s campaign, which paid Relative $27,081.14. Intel LLC, a Minnesota-based personal protection company. solidify. Rep. Ayanna Pressley’s campaign spent $4,676 on private security, and Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s campaign brought in $2,230 for those services. New York Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman reported no private security campaign spending.
The Bush and Omar campaigns did not immediately respond to a Fox News Digital inquiry on Sunday.
Fox News’ Joe Schoffstall contributed to this report.