Fact check: The bogus claim that Obama is closing the Vatican embassy

The concerns of five former ambassadors about a possible downgrading of embassy status might carry some weight, but Jeb Bush’s tweet and the NRSC petition go much too far.

Both claim the embassy is “closing,” which suggests the ambassador is being withdrawn. Instead, the embassy building is simply moving—for both post-Benghazi security reasons and for budget savings, two issues that Republicans often have highlighted as important.

Meanwhile, both the tweet and the petition immediately jump to the conclusion that this is an anti-religious act by President Obama. In fact this was an internal State Department decision that was first advocated during the George W. Bush administration. The hyperbole is entirely misplaced, and thus these comments fall into the “whopper” category.