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

12 January, 2018, 06:19 | Author: Marjorie Miles
  • Pete Hoekstra new U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands gives a statement during a press conference at his residence in The Hague Netherlands Wednesday Jan. 10 2018

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.

He told reporters that Ambassador Pete Hoekstra had apologized for the 2015 remarks in a statement on Twitter in December and also said he regretted telling a Dutch television reporter he never made the comments.

His very first press conference as US ambassador to Amsterdam did not go well for Pete Hoekstra, the former US Congressman of Dutch descent.

Dutch reporters repeatedly asked him to clarify whether he believed local politicians had been set on fire.

The new U.S. 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". "Yes or no", one asked.

"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.

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He has also suggested that former president Barrack Obama may have been aiding the rise of radical Islam on goal, the CNN report said.

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

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.

Hoekstra simply responded by saying, "Thank you". It was awkward, to be honest'. "That is actually an incorrect statement, we would call it "fake news", Hoekstra said.

I submit that the USA media's fact-checking industry is pretty robust and that we have our share of confrontational news conferences, too. And if that wasn't enough, just minutes later Hoekstra denied calling the interviewer's statements "fake". But Hoekstra, squirming through his first news conference in The Hague, was merely the more visible of the Dutch media's two targets.

He speculated that some 10-15 percent of the Muslim community in the world - 270 million people - were radical Islamist militants and appeared to imply that Huma Abedin had "egregious" ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, a claim that The Washington Post's fact-checker Glenn Kessler, and other publications, have determined as "bogus". He studiously avoided answering the hard questions of Dutch journalists only to eventually lose control of the situation.

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