Trump's New Ambassador Grilled By Dutch Journalists Over Anti-Muslim Comments

Pete Hoekstra

President Trump's new ambassador to the Netherlands, Peter Hoekstra, got absolutely hammered by reporters during his first press conference with the Dutch press on Wednesday over controversial remarks he made in the past about Muslim violence in their country.

The US ambassador to the Netherlands is to meet Dutch Muslims after his arrival was clouded by his claim that the country is troubled by Islamist violence and no-go zones.

Hoekstra, who was born in the Netherlands and represented Michigan's 2nd Congressional District for 18 years, was unable or unwilling to offer such proof Wednesday, promising only that he would be "revisiting the issue".

One reporter told him: "This is the Netherlands, you have to answer questions", while another asked if the ambassador could name a politician who had been set on fire in recent years.

"Dutch reporters stun Trumps ambassador by pressing to admit he lied about 'no-go zones", said The Intercept, which went on to urge White House correspondents to study the footage.

On Thursday, the State Department said the USA administration does not stand by these allegations, nor does it believe as Hoekstra apparently does in Muslim controlled "no-go zones".

He has also suggested that former president Barrack Obama may have been aiding the rise of radical Islam on objective, the CNN report said. "Chaos in the Netherlands. And yes, there are no-go zones in the Netherlands", Hoekstra says in the clip. Hoekstra urged the press to move on from the issue, but to no avail. A silence followed but was broken when Hoekstra replied "thank you".

On Thursday, reporters questioned Goldstein about the appropriateness of Hoekstra's ambassadorship in light of his performance at the news conference and additional statements beyond the 2015 conference where he appeared to spread anti-Muslim conspiracy theories. "Yeah, we would call it fake news". "That is actually an incorrect statement", he told reporter Wouter Zwart.

"We were all astonished that he didn't want to take back the comment". "And yes, there are no-go zones in the Netherlands".

In another exchange, a reporter asked Hoekstra to look at a John Adams quote mounted on a fireplace that states a concern that only "honest and wise men ever rule under this roof".

He takes up the post as U.S. envoy left vacant for two years, and as immigration is set to again be a hot-button issue in the Dutch local elections due on March 21.

But he apologized for the remarks in a December 23 tweet, saying he "made certain remarks in 2015 and regret the exchange during the Nieuwsuur interview". Hoesktra has declined to substantiate the remarks, and did not clarify an apology he gave in December after making false statements to a reporter who had asked about them.

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