Hoekstra silent over inaccurate Muslim claims on 1st day as US ambassador to Netherlands
12 January, 2018, 06:21
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 journalists peppered the former Republican congressman from MI with questions asking if he still believes those widely debunked claims.
With the help of an aide, he tried to move onto another topic, but other journalists continued to ask similar questions, such as for examples of a Dutch politician who had been burned in recent years.
The new United States ambassador to the Netherlands - in trouble over a fake news scandal - clashed on Wednesday with Dutch reporters who told him: "This is the Netherlands, you have to answer questions".
At least one more journalist fired the question off. Reporters had asked the question at least five times.
"I'm not revisiting the issue", Hoekstra said Wednesday.
"Please, this is not how it works", another reporter said.
"Trump's Netherlands ambassador was asked to name a person 'burned" because of Islam. "There are politicians that are being burned", he said.
Under Secretary of State Steve Goldstein told a briefing on Thursday the State Department "does not agree" with Hoekstra's 2015 remarks about Muslim migrants in the Netherlands.
'Dutch media roasts new USA ambassador Peter Hoekstra for dodging questions about past anti-Islam comments, ' was the headline in the Chicago Tribune.
"The ambassador made mistakes in 2015, made comments that should not have been made". "And yes, there are no-go zones in the Netherlands".
Video of the freaky exchange, juxtaposed with his "no-go zone" remarks, went viral, and the episode drew a slew of critical headlines in the United States and the Netherlands. Well, yesterday was "Hokum" Hoekstra's first day on the job, and his interview with the Dutch press didn't go so well.
"A lot of Dutch people have seen the press conferences of the White House and seen how some questions are not answered", he said.
The reporters failed to play along, though, with one quickly asking, "Will you be visiting our "no-go areas"?"
In December, Hoekstra denied making the 2015 remarks, telling the Dutch television program Nieuwsuur it was "an incorrect statement. fake news".
In a statement previous year, Hoekstra said: "I made certain remarks in 2015 and regret the exchange during the Nieuwsuur interview. Please accept my apology".
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