In the Netherlands, U.S. Ambassador Pete Hoekstra was grilled by Dutch reporters Wednesday about past Islamophobic comments in which he blamed Muslim immigrants for setting fires and creating “no-go zones” across Holland. “There are cars being burned. There are politicians that are being burned,” Hoekstra said at a conservative forum in 2015. Last December, Hoekstra denied making the remarks, telling a Dutch television crew the reports were “fake news.” When Hoekstra was then shown footage in which he made the comments, he denied he had even used the term “fake news.” On Wednesday in The Hague, Hoekstra spoke to Dutch reporters for the first time since he became U.S. ambassador, repeatedly refusing to answer questions about his false comments.
Reporter 1: “If you’re truly an honest and wise man, would you please take back the remark about burned politicians, or name a politician that was burned in the Netherlands.”
Pete Hoekstra: “Thank you.”
Reporter 2: “Why don’t you answer the question?”
Pete Hoekstra: “Yes.”
Reporter 3: “Why don’t you answer the question?”
Reporter 2: “Answer the question. This is not how this works, guys. Come on.”
Reporter 3: “This is the Netherlands. You have to answer questions.”
As a congressmember, Ambassador Hoekstra was co-founder of the House Tea Party Caucus. He supports the death penalty, opposes abortion rights and has spoken out against marriage equality and LGBTQ rights.