With the help of an aide, he tried to move onto another topic, but other journalists continued to ask similar questions, such as for examples of a Dutch politician who had been burned in recent years.
On Thursday, the State Department said the USA administration does not stand by these allegations, nor does it believe as Hoekstra apparently does in Muslim controlled "no-go zones". Many political journalists have also denounced the New York Times for publishing interviews with President Donald Trump that include few or no follow-up questions.
'Dutch media roasts new U.S. ambassador Peter Hoekstra for dodging questions about past anti-Islam comments, ' was the headline in the Chicago Tribune. "That is actually an incorrect statement", he told reporter Wouter Zwart.
In fact, after saying that he would be "revisiting the issue", he simply refused to answer the question at all.
"Could you please take back the remark about burned politicians or name the politician that was burned in the Netherlands?" another said.
First asked about his comments by a Dutch reporter in December, Hoekstra denied making the statements, dismissing them as fake news.
"Do you now reach the conclusion you were wrong when you stated that politicians and cars were being burned?"
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"Embarrassing performance from controversial ambassador", De Telegraaf daily said, while the RTL Nieuws called the incident a "very uncomfortable meeting between ambassador and journalists". "And yes, there are no-go zones in the Netherlands". At one point, he seemed to indicate that he was most concerned about the interview, not the statements.
He said that now that he is a representative of the American administration, his personal opinions or comments are no longer what matters. "One interview has no impact on that".
Hoekstra said he hoped to begin in-depth briefings with Dutch officials on the U.S. perspectives on issues both countries face, including counter-terrorism and cyber threats.
In a 2015 radio show appearance, meanwhile, he said he'd "considered [the] possibility" that Obama "would... want to create a safe haven for radical jihadists", the outlet said. "Those comments were not the position of the State Department and you will never hear those words from this podium". "He's been received well by the Dutch government, and we hope that he can be received well by the people of the Netherlands".
"Are politicians being burned in the Netherlands in the past?"
According to a report from The Washington Post, reporters repeatedly asked Hoekstra to offer proof of his claim that politicians and cars have been burned and that there are "no-go zones" in the Netherlands.