Trump's new Netherlands envoy sheds no light on 'Muslim chaos' comment

Trump's new Netherlands envoy sheds no light on 'Muslim chaos' comment

Trump's new Netherlands envoy sheds no light on 'Muslim chaos' comment

U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands Pete Hoekstra struggled on Wednesday in his first press conference with Dutch journalists to explain previous remarks he had made about the Netherlands and the supposed danger brought there by the "Islamic movement".

The US and other foreign media have reported widely on the "roasting" the new US ambassador to the Netherlands received from Dutch reporters when he tried to brush off statements about no-go areas and politicians being burned.

Hoekstra is known for being a particularly conservative Republican politician who is against gay marriage, opposed to legalized abortion in all circumstances, and supports U.S. President Donald Trump's attempts to ban entry into the U.S. from citizens of several countries with large Muslim populations.

On Wednesday at his new residence in The Hague, Dutch reporters repeatedly asked him to clarify if he believed local politicians had been set on fire.

The new USA 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".

"Cars being burned, there are politicians that are being burned..."

After Hoekstra had presented his credentials to the Dutch king in the Hague on Wednesday, the former congressman told reporters that he would be "moving on" from the controversy over his remarks.

Asked whether the State Department agreed with Hoekstra's comments on the security situation and the place of Muslims in Dutch society, Goldstein said it did not.

The reporter showed him the exact clip in which Hoekstra had made the remarks about chaos and burning, and said, "You call that fake news?"

"The ambassador made mistakes in 2015, made comments that should not have been made".

Hoekstra said in 2015: "The Islamic movement has now gotten to a point where they have put Europe into chaos". Moments later, he denied that he had called them fake news.

In a statement past year, Hoekstra said: "I made certain remarks in 2015 and regret the exchange during the Nieuwsuur interview". Shortly after that, in the same interview, Mr. Hoekstra denied having used the term "fake news". "Please accept my apology", he wrote.

Hoekstra has been in hot water in the Netherlands for the remarks since he was first confronted by a Dutch journalist, Wouter Zwart, in December.

Hoekstra served in the U.S. Congress from 1993 to 2011.

The grilling continued with a different questioner: "Why don't you answer the question?"

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