Trump's Netherlands envoy criticised for false claims about Muslim migrants

12 January, 2018, 06:19 | Author: Bert Pena
  • US Ambassador to Netherlands Clashes with Dutch Reporters Over Remarks About Muslims

A new USA ambassador to the Netherlands has already landed in hot water at his first press conference when he refused to answer journalists' questions.

Hoekstra was born in the Netherlands, emigrated with his parents to the United States at age 3 and grew up in West Michigan.

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

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. He studiously avoided answering the hard questions of Dutch journalists only to eventually lose control of the situation.

At the press conference, the Dutch media relentlessly pushed Hoekstra to say whether he still believes the original remarks he made. "There are politicians that are being burned", Hoekstra said at the time.

While Hoekstra told the crowd he was "moving on" from the anti-refugee remarks, he still couldn't avoid the issue, as yet another reporter asked, "Will you be visiting our "no-go areas"?" "And I'm not revisiting the issue", referring to a December 23 statement on Twitter.

Hoekstra said Wednesday he didn't want to revisit the issue, according to the AP report.

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"The Islamic movement is now gotten to a point where they have put Europe into chaos", Hoekstra had said at the November 2015 gathering, during a recorded panel discussion about migration from Muslim states.

The reporters wanted to know whether Hoekstra still stood behind an inflammatory and unsubstantiated claim he made in 2015 about Islamists turning the Netherlands into some kind of hellscape.

He has also suggested that former president Barrack Obama may have been aiding the rise of radical Islam on goal, the CNN report said. "Hoekstra himself. By refusing to answer our questions", he wrote. Later, after being played a recording of his comment, he denied calling it fake news.

"There are cars being burned, there are politicians that are being burned", he had said at a conference hosted by a conservative group.

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. "There are politicians that are being burned and, yes, there are no-go zones in the Netherlands". Have you ever watched CNN's Jim Acosta in the White House briefing room, Netherlands? "And yes, there are no-go zones in the Netherlands".

Hoekstra issued his statement via Twitter shortly before Christmas, saying he "made certain remarks in 2015 and regret the exchange during the Nieuwsuur interview. Please accept my apology", he said.


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