Cori Bush defends private security at Capitol: ‘You would rather me die?’

Reps. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) and Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.) address reporters on the House Steps as they and housing advocates demand an extension of the now expired eviction moratorium on Monday, August 2, 2021.
Greg Nash

Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) on Thursday said she still supports defunding the police, despite having spent tens of thousands of dollars on personal security this year.

“Defunding the police has to happen. We need to defund the police and put that money into social safety nets, because we’re trying to save lives,” Bush told CBS News in an interview outside the Capitol.

When asked whether it’s hypocritical to hold that position while also spending nearly $70,000 on personal security since the Jan. 6 attack, Bush said the other alternative might be death.

“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,” she responded.

Bush was among two dozen lawmakers who spent more than $1,000 on personal security following the attack on the Capitol in early January.

Bush spent nearly $70,000 on personal security, more than any other House lawmaker, according to The Hill’s analysis of Federal Election Commission reports.

The spending includes only campaign money, not taxpayer dollars.

Bush on Thursday also said several police officers have threatened her life, from before she was elected and even since.

“If I have actual police officers who have threatened my life, tell me about that, tell me I don’t need security,” said Bush, whose congressional district covers St. Louis.

“My security is not against communal violence,” she added. “My security is not to keep me safe from the people of St. Louis. It’s to keep me safe from those racist attempts made against my life.”

Bush has been a prominent advocate for the “defund the police” movement. In 2020, she clashed with former President Obama on Twitter over his remark that politicians could lose support from voters for using phrases such as “defund the police.”

“With all due respect, Mr. President — let’s talk about losing people. We lost Michael Brown Jr. We lost Breonna Taylor. We’re losing our loved ones to police violence,” she wrote.

Tags Barack Obama defund the police Missouri St. Louis

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