Peter Hoekstra, the new US ambassador to the Netherlands, held his first news conference with Dutch media on January 10, facing questions over his unsubstantiated 2015 claim about the chaos the "Islamic movement" had brought to the country.
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.
Hoekstra, a former Republican congressman from MI, talked about "no-go zones" on several occasions; he has referred to their presence in European cities multiple times in conservative media before he became the ambassador.
"This is the Netherlands, you have to answer questions", another declared. "Yes or no", one asked.
Wednesday's press conference was not Hoekstra's first awkward exchange with a Dutch reporter.
"Please, this is not how it works", another reporter said. "Chaos in the Netherlands". There are politicians that are being burned.
"The ambassador made mistakes in 2015, made comments that should not have been made". He said Hoekstra also was expected to visit various Dutch communities over the weekend, including Muslim communities.
"Thank you", Hoekstra said, before trying to call on someone else over the clamor of the reporters in the room.
I submit that the USA media's fact-checking industry is pretty robust and that we have our share of confrontational news conferences, too. "That is actually an incorrect statement", he said at that time, adding "we [in the US] would call it fake news".
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".
When asked about the same comments by the Dutch news program Nieuwsuur in December, Hoekstra denied having made the statements, calling it "fake news".
"A lot of Dutch people have seen the press conferences of the White House and seen how some questions are not answered", he said.
Hoekstra issued his statement via Twitter shortly before Christmas, saying he "made certain remarks in 2015 and regret the exchange during the Nieuwsuur interview".
According to a report from The Washington Post, reporters repeatedly asked Hoekstra to offer proof of his claim that politicians and cars have been burned and that there are "no-go zones" in the Netherlands. "Please accept my apology", he wrote.