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Saturday, May 25, 2024

‘Defund the Police’ Advocate Cori Bush Marries Private Security Guard

'Our team has come to know and appreciate Mr. Merritts as a loving and caring Congressional spouse​... '

(Headline USA) “Defund the Police” advocate Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., married a member of her security detail who was paid by her campaign during a private ceremony earlier this month, according to reports.

Bush tied the knot with Cortney Merritts in St. Louis, according to local station KSDK. They filed for a marriage license on Feb. 11 and held the ceremony the following weekend, court documents show.

Bush’s chief of staff Abbas Alawiesh confirmed the marriage in a statement on Monday, saying, “With heartfelt congratulations, I am happy to confirm that Congresswoman Cori Bush married the love of her life, Cortney Merritts, this month​.”

Merritt began working for Bush’s campaign as security detail in 2022, after the couple began their relationship. Bush paid Merritt, an Army veteran, $62,359 in 2022 — the bulk of the payments being for security services, while $2,359 was for “cash reimbursements.”

Bush’s office insisted the payments were within the bounds of House ethics rules, though they are likely to draw scrutiny from the House Ethics Committee now that Republicans are in charge.

Bush’s office on Monday stressed that Merritts was not employed by them.

​”​Mr. Merritts, a veteran of the U.S. Army and a security professional, has been Congresswoman Bush’s partner since before her Congressional tenure and is not employed by her Congressional office. Our team has come to know and appreciate Mr. Merritts as a loving and caring Congressional spouse​,” Alawiesh said.

Bush has spent more than $500,000 in private security over the past several years, despite advocating for the defunding of local police departments. She defended her hypocritical stance in August 2021, claiming she needs security because “I have had attempts on my life and I have too much work to do.”

She also suggested that anyone who criticizes her decision to hire security doesn’t care about her safety.

“They would rather I die?” she said in 2021. “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.”

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