MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has not typically been one to repeat wild conspiracy theories in the past. But that’s exactly what he did this week when he repeated a wild story making the rounds on the fringes of the right wing.
“Why would our President close our Embassy to the Vatican?” Jeb Bush tweeted. “Hopefully, it is not retribution for Catholic organizations opposing Obamacare.”
There are several factual problems with the statement made by Bush, namely the United State isn’t closing its Embassy to the Vatican.
No foreign country has an embassy in Vatican City proper because there isn’t room. Foreign embassies are actually located in the city of Rome, according to the U.S. State Department.
What the United State is doing is moving its Vatican embassy in Rome from its current location, which was described by the State Department as a “decidedly ugly, slab-sided, unprepossessing building in Rome.”
The new U.S. Embassy to the Vatican will be on the compound of the U.S. Embassy to Italy. The Embassy to the Vatican will have its own building, own entrance and be separate from the Embassy to Italy and separate from the U.S. Mission to the U.N. office in Rome, according to the State Department.
The new building housing the U.S. Embassy to the Vatican will actually be closer to the Holy See than the former building. In addition, it will save approximately $1.4 million per year in lease and operating costs, the State Department said.
Twitter users jumped on Bush after the tweet was put out with comments blasting the potential 2016 presidential candidate for putting false information out.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee also tried to jump on the false story of President Obama “closing the U.S. Embassy to the Vatican” with a petition.
But the facts don’t back up the tweet from Bush or the petition from the NRSC. The tweet from Bush remains published as of Friday and he has not commented on the statement or tweeted again since making the statement on Wednesday.