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Cori Bush said in a rambling interview Sunday morning that the Democratic Party needs to ‘work on comms’ as she defended her calls to ‘defund police’ despite criticism for spending $70,000 on personal security.
‘I think what we have to look at is the fact that I made it to Congress in 2020, I was elected to Congress, and we are still fighting this same fight. We’re still fighting to save black lives. That was not – that work was not done before I got here,’ she said while avoiding answering the question.
‘This is the reason why I ran, was to save lives, to save my son’s life,’ she dodged.
The incoherent and confusing response saw the congresswoman defending her previous comments, blaming the Democrat party for a messaging issue and claiming congressional inaction has cost black people their lives.
She did not, however, answer the question related to criticism over her spending thousands in campaign funds for a security detail and then calling to defund the police.
Representative Cori Bush gave a rambling and confusing response on Sunday when asked how she justifies spending thousands on personal security but calling to defund police
Bush told Bash the Democratic Party has a ‘messaging problem’ and claimed they are trying to blame her for issues that existed before she was elected to Congress
Dana Bash asks Rep. Cori Bush to explain comments she made endorsing defunding the police while also talking about having private security for herself pic.twitter.com/OQqbnAAUCG
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 8, 2021
Bush, 45, appeared to insinuate that the issue among Democrats regarding the ‘defund police’ movement is the messaging.
‘So, I don’t believe – as far as my – as far as my colleagues, I absolutely empathize. I empathize,’ she said.
‘But you know what? The same thing that the Republicans will do, which is figure out how to work with this on the comms spaces, that’s what we have to do,’ she suggested.
When asked if the Democrtic Party has a ‘messaging issue’, Bush said ‘no’, but her answer appeared to claim otherwise.
‘No, I’m saying that we can also – that that’s another way that you can tackle this,’ she said.
‘You have to tackle it from more than one place. We have to work on what we want to say, what is our message, but then we also have to understand that we have to save lives too.’
Bush insisted: ‘I’m here to stand up for my community.’
She also doubled-down during her interview on her calls to strip law enforcement of their funding.
‘My job is to save lives, the lives of my community, because, when we’re – when we’re talking about every single year increasing the budget for police, and then the budget for, like, Health and Human Services continuing to shrink, and St. Louis being number one for police violence year after year after year, number one, number two for homicides year and year, after year,’ she confusingly stated.
‘So, when we’re adding more money to the police, but we’re still dying,’ Bush added in an incomplete thought.
Bush said the Democratic Party and those within it are trying to blame her for issues that existed before she was elected to Congress in 2020.
‘That was not fixed before I got here, to then come at me and say you’re the reason why we have these problems, no, the reason why we have these problems is because those that were in power and could have fixed this problem before now didn’t and cost – it cost lives,’ she said.
She continued to deflect in her response, explaining she decided to run for Congress because she felt inaction regarding police brutality toward black communities was costing lives.
‘And so now that I’m here, I – we just introduced the People’s Response Act to make sure that we are looking at the money that should be going to social safety nets to make sure that our community members who are living with mental health issues are able to function and live in society…the way that anyone would ask to,’ she said in another confusing addition to her rambling response.
Bush said Thursday that she would be willing to spend $200,000 on private security to protect her life while she still called for police departments to be defunded. She spent nearly $70,000 between April and June on personal security
Bush said Thursday that she is willing to spend another $200,000 in personal security because she has feared for her life.
‘I’m going to make sure I have security because, I know, I have had attempts on my life,’ Bush told CBS News in an interview outside the Capitol . ‘And I have too much work to do, there are too many people that need help right now, for me to allow that.’
‘So if I end up spending $200,000, if I spend $10 more on it – you know what, I get to be here to do the work,’ she added.
Federal Election Commission filings this month show that Bush spent $69,120 in ‘security services’ from April 15 to June 28 – the span of about two-and-a-half months.
She questioned when asked about criticism over her spending on Thursday: ‘They would rather I die? You would rather me die?’
‘Is that what you want to see?’ Bush continued in awe. ‘You know, because that could be the alternative.’
The security payments were made to New York-based RS&T Security Consulting LLC and a Nathaniel Davis of St. Louis, Missouri.
Bush added in her Thursday interview: ‘So suck it up, defunding the police has to happen.’
‘We need to defund police and put that money into social safety nets,’ the freshman congresswoman from Missouri said.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki defended Bush’s comments at Thursday’s press briefing, but reiterated that President Joe Biden does not support defunding the police.
‘There may be some in the Democratic Party, including Congresswoman Bush, who disagree with him – that’s OK,’ Psaki said.
‘I would say the majority of Democrats, we’ve seen this in polling, and the majority of members also agree that we should not defund the police.’