US ambassador gets schooled by Dutch journalists, and it's embarrassing
The statement by the Dutch press appeared as a jibe to the Trump administration which is reportedly infamous for avoiding, not answering and even providing an 'alternate' answer.
The newly-appointed US ambassador to the Netherlands on Wednesday clashed with the Dutch media over his reluctance to answer questions about the 2015 fake news scandal. The reporters, however, took envoy Pete Hoekstra to task by saying: "This is the Netherlands, you have to answer questions.”
The statement appeared as a jibe to the Trump administration, including the president, which is reportedly infamous for avoiding, not answering and even providing an 'alternate' answer to the questions asked by the American press.
Hoekstra, in 2015, had made some controversial comments, stating that a supposed "Islamic movement" was creating chaos in Europe and also suggested that extremists in the Netherlands were burning cars and even politicians.
"I never said that politicians were being burned in the NL, that's fake news!" Rolls clip where he says just that. "I never said fake news." https://t.co/qLBqugEaOn— Thomas Ott Blockchain (@neuralmarket) January 11, 2018
“The Islamic movement has now gotten to a point where they have put Europe into chaos. Chaos in the Netherlands, there are cars being burnt, there are politicians that are being burnt … and, yes, there are no-go zones in the Netherlands," Hoekstra had reportedly said in 2015.
The new US envoy, however, issued an apology last year and even called his own statement as fake news while talking to a Dutch reporter. He later denied using the phrase fake new during the conversation.
"I made certain remarks in 2015 and regret the exchange during the Nieuwsuur interview. Please accept my apology," the diplomat said in a statement last year.
The issue was brought up by the Dutch journalists on Wednesday — Hoekstra's first official day in the job — where he was confronted by the press to comment on his controversial statements. The envoy was asked the questions during a press conference shortly after presenting his credentials to Dutch King Willem-Alexander at a palace in The Hague.
Hoekstra, however, did not answer the hard-pressing questions from the journalists in the Netherlands, saying he did not want to revisit the issue. That is when one of the reporters expressed his frustration saying: "This is the Netherlands, you have to answer questions." While another reporter asked the envoy whether he could name a politician in the country who had been set on fire by the extremists.
He continued to avoid the questions and instead told the reporters that he would strive to build on the strong connection between the United States and the Netherlands.
Hoekstra is a former Republican congressman from Michigan and was born in the northern Dutch city of Groningen before his family emigrated to the United States.
“If you are truly an honest and wise man,” a journalist asked, “would you please take back the remark about burned politicians — or name a politician that was burned in the Netherlands?” https://t.co/K6JjLbHU10— The Intercept (@theintercept) January 11, 2018
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