AOC has spent thousands on security, including $4k-plus to ex-Blackwater contractor
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez paid thousands for personal security to a former Blackwater contractor, a review of Federal Election Commission records shows.
AOC’s campaign spent at least $4,636 at Tullis Worldwide Protection for “security services” between January and June of this year, according to the filings.
The Franconia, Virginia-based company is owned by Devin Tullis, whose other clients include the royal families of both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, according to his website.
AOC, a New York Democrat, has been among the most vocal proponents of the defund the police movement since coming to Congress, and has insisted the idea would turn blighted communities into suburban paradises.
“[Suburban] communities have lower crime rates not because they have more police but because they have more resources to support healthy society in a way that reduces crime,” she said in a June 2020 Instagram story.
When New York City moved to defund a billion dollars from the NYPD, Ocasio-Cortez slammed the measure as insufficient. “Defunding police means defunding police,” the congresswoman said in a statement at the time.
In addition to Blackwater, Tullis also worked as a bail enforcement officer, according to his LinkedIn profile.
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He refused to get into the specifics of his contract with the congresswoman, but said he frequently hired former military and law enforcement for protection jobs with VIPs — noting the gig wasn’t for the faint of heart.
“We’re not hiring social workers,” he laughed.
Blackwater, which is now known as Academi, was a private military company founded by Erik Prince, a billionaire and former Navy Seal. The company achieved infamy in the United States for furnishing some of the rougher military contractors during the Iraq War.
In September 2007, Blackwater agents took part in the Nisour Square massacre, which left 17 Iraqi civilians dead. Four agents were later convicted in 2014 on various counts of murder, manslaughter and weapons charges. They were all pardoned by President Trump in December 2020.
“Out of one corner of her mouth she is attacking the police and out of the other she is hiring cops who have gone private to protect her. So AOC, which is it?” veteran Democratic strategist Jon Reinish told The Post.
Tullis said his Blackwater days were during the early 2000s, at the beginning of his career. He said the employment didn’t last long and he was only involved in domestic security details for the company.
“Everyone says Blackwater and they think guys running and gunning and killing overseas, but that’s just not the true story,” Tullis said, calling his own work in those days. “common everyday security stuff.”
A rep for AOC declined to comment.
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The Tullis money was just a small piece of the more than $34,000 AOC has spent on private security and consultants in the first half of 2021, records show.
The lion’s share of the cash — $28,498 — was spent locally, at New York’s own Three Bridges, LLC, which bills itself as part of “a new generation of the private security industry.”
Another $1,552 was given to 24 & 7 Security & Investigation in Houston, which provided security for the congresswoman when she was in town to help raise money after the city was rocked by a devastating winter storm.
Owner Joe Orsak said he assigned a former Army special forces veteran to watch her.
“We got connected to [Ocasio-Cortez] through another representative that is a family friend of his,” Orsak said.
The spending spike takes place amid heightened security fears among some lawakers, in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection in Washington, D.C.
Some of the biggest security spenders have been Republicans, including Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, who has drawn ire for her vote to impeach then-President Trump.
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Cheney has spent at least $50,400 on security so far in 2021, while another prominent Trump critic, Utah Sen. Mitt Romney spent $43,633, Axios reported. Upstate New York GOP Rep. John Katko, who also voted for impeachment, spent at least $19,874 in the same time period.
The congresswoman is far from the only police defunding advocate who has sought additional security. Her squad colleague, freshman Rep. Jamaal Bowman, asked for and received a special detail from the Yonkers Police Department to patrol his personal residence.
A rep for his office said at the time the extra muscle was necessary due to “threats” that Bowman had received.
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