Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO), who is one of the top promoters of the far-left “defund the police” movement in Congress, has reportedly married a private security guard that her campaign hired.
Bush was married at a private ceremony last weekend to Cortney Merritts after signing a marriage license with him a few days prior.
NBC affiliate KSDK reported that Bush’s campaign paid Merritts $62,359 in direct payments in 2022 for security services and $2,359 for cash reimbursements.
The payments to Merritts started after the two entered a relationship with each other, the report said, noting that the campaign expenses could draw the attention of the FEC and the Congressional Ethics Office.
“Campaign funds are not to be used to enhance a Member’s lifestyle, or to pay a Member’s personal obligations,” House rules state. “Members have wide discretion in determining what constitutes a bona fide campaign or political purpose to which campaign funds and resources may be devoted, but Members have no discretion whatsoever to convert campaign funds to personal use.”
A spokesperson for Bush released a statement on Monday confirming the marriage, saying that Merritts was “the love of [Bush’s] life.”
“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,” the statement added. “Our team has come to know and appreciate Mr. Merritts as a loving and caring Congressional spouse.”
Bush is a staunch opponent of law enforcement and has repeatedly called for defunding the police and has doubled down on position when confronted by left-wing media organizations.
“If you could do it again, would you still double down or use that slogan, ‘defund the police?’” CNN host Don Lemon asked in October 2022. “Absolutely,” Bush responded.
Bush made similar remarks around that time during an interview with ABC News when she was asked if her rhetoric could hurt vulnerable Democrats in competitive districts.
“The thing about ‘defund the police’ is we have to tell the entire narrative,” Bush responded. “People hear ‘defund the police,’ but you know what they’ll say, say ‘reallocate,’ say ‘divest,’ say ‘move,’ but it’s still the same thing.”
“We can’t get caught up on the words,” Bush continued. “People spend more time focusing on the word ‘defund’ than they spend on caring and addressing the problem of police violence in this country.”