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Rep. Cori Bush poured tens of thousands of dollars more into private security during the first quarter of 2022, pushing her security bills to more than $300,000 as she continues calls to defund the police.
The Missouri Democrat’s campaign reported spending $70,489 on security services between Jan. 1 and March 31, Federal Election Commission filings show. The payments include $50,489 to Peace Security, $15,000 to Cortney Merrits and $5,000 to Nathaniel Davis.
Bush’s newest security checks follow the $233,663 her committee spent on the services in 2021, FEC records show. She has now paid out $304,152 for security this election cycle.
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As Bush’s campaign issued the most recent payments, she refused to rein in her calls to defund law enforcement, which Democrats fear will hurt the party in the 2022 elections.
“I always tell [fellow Democrats], ‘If you all had fixed this before I got here, I wouldn’t have to say these things,'” the ‘Squad’ member told Axios in February.
Bush said the “defund the police” slogan isn’t the problem and pinned it on Democrats not delivering on the promise.
Fox News Digital first reported on Bush’s security payments in July 2021, which prompted questions from CBS News about the cash and whether it was hypocritical to hire security while pushing to defund law enforcement.
Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., speaks during a news conference to discuss proposed legislation outside the U.S. Capitol March 11, 2021, in Washington.
(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
“They would rather I die?” Bush asked. “You would rather me die? Is that what you want to see? You want to see me die? You know, because that could be the alternative.”
CORI BUSH DEFENDS CALLING TO DEFUND THE POLICE WHILE HAVING PRIVATE SECURITY: ‘YOU WOULD RATHER I DIE?’
Bush said she would ensure she has security because she has had attempts on her life and has “too much work to do.”
“So suck it up, and defunding the police has to happen,” she added.
Activist Cori Bush speaks during a news conference Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020, in St. Louis.
(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)
Shortly after Bush’s vigorous defense of the payments, St. Louis’ KMOV4 discovered through obtained surveillance camera footage that Bush had hired two sheriff’s deputies, Tylance Jackson and Maurice Thompson, as part of her security.
The discovery led to the termination of Jackson and Thompson, who had failed to get approval for the side gig, St. Louis Sheriff Vernon Betts said at the time.
Bush has been a major critic of law enforcement and one of the most ardent advocates of defunding the police. She has said that defunding the police is not a “radical” idea and praised St. Louis in April 2021 for its “historic” vote to strip millions from the police force.
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“Today’s decision to defund the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is historic,” Bush said after the vote. “It marks a new future for our city. For decades, our city funneled more and more money into our police department under the guise of public safety, while massively underinvesting in the resources that will truly keep our communities safe.”
Bush’s campaign did not respond to a Fox News Digital request for comment on the continued payments.
Fox News’ Michael Lee and Cortney O’Brien contributed reporting.