US Ambassador to Netherlands Clashes with Dutch Reporters Over Remarks About Muslims


Dutch journalists peppered Hoekstra, who became Trump's ambassador after serving 18 years as a Republican congressman from MI, with questions on unsubstantiated claims he made in 2015 about the chaos the "Islamic movement" had brought to the Netherlands.

America's ambassador to the Netherlands, Pete Hoekstra, has been refusing to answer questions from Dutch reporters on Wednesday about some false comments he's been making about Muslims - and the media isn't forgetting.

When Hoekstra, who was born in the Netherlands but raised in MI as a staunch social conservative, called for another question, two reporters asked him, "Why don't you answer the question?"

Another asked, "Would you please take back your remark about burned politicians, or name a politician that was burned in the Netherlands".

"This is the Netherlands, you have to answer questions", said another.

"Chaos in the Netherlands - there are cars being burned".

On Wednesday, despite being repeatedly asked at a heated news conference at his residence in The Hague, Hoekstra refused to say whether he still stood by his views.

Goldstein said Hoekstra would be interviewed by a Dutch media outlet on Friday and was expected to address the issue.

"The Ambassador made mistakes in 2015, made comments that should not have been made", Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Steve Goldstein told reporters.

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Asked whether the State Department agreed with Hoekstra's comments on the security situation and the place of Muslims in Dutch society, Goldstein said it did not. After some more discussion, Hoekstra then denied calling the statements fake news.

At a 2015 conference, he grossly exaggerated its dangers, claiming "the Islamic movement has now gotten to a point where they have put Europe into chaos".

'Dutch media roasts new United States ambassador Peter Hoekstra for dodging questions about past anti-Islam comments, ' was the headline in the Chicago Tribune. "There are politicians that are being burned and, yes, there are no-go zones in the Netherlands", he added.

"I made certain remarks during 2015 and regret the exchange", Hoekstra posted on Twitter.

When Hoekstra ignored a reporter's question about the latter statement, one journalist said, "This is not how it works". "Please accept my apology".

Hoekstra has been in hot water in the Netherlands for the remarks since he was first confronted by a Dutch journalist, Wouter Zwart, in December.

Hoekstra served as a Congressman from 1993 to 2011.

Footage of Wednesday's news conference shows Hoekstra taking questions from journalists who asked several times if Hoekstra was wrong about cars and politicians being burned.

"And he also plans over the weekend to be available within numerous communities in in the capital, including Muslim communities".