‘Fake news’ quagmire: US ambassador ties himself in knots over terrorism claim (VIDEO)
A newly sworn-in US ambassador has been called out on a 2015 statement, in which he claimed no-go areas were established by Muslim migrants in the Netherlands and that politicians had been burned.
Picked for the role of ambassador to the Netherlands by the US president earlier this year, Pete Hoekstra was sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence on December 11. Hoekstra, who was born in Holland but represented Michigan in the US House of Representatives, has now been caught up in a fake news wrangle.
In a profile of the new ambassador, released this week, Dutch TV journalist Wouter Zwart asked about questionable statements made by Hoekstra during a debate in 2015. The incident is a bizarre quagmire of denials and accusations. Hoekstra first denies making the incendiary comments, then clearly brands the reporting of his own statements as “fake news,” before, seconds later, denying he ever used the phrase “fake news.”
“At one point you mentioned in a debate that there are no-go zones in the Netherlands and that cars and politicians are being set on fire,” Zwart tells Hoekstra.
The comments were made during the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s Restoration Weekend in 2015.
@Nieuwsuur to new US ambassador: “You mentioned [..] that there are no go-zones in the Netherlands and that cars and politicians are set on fire.”
Pete Hoekstra: “I didn’t say that. That’s actually an incorrect statement [..] fake news.”
Hmm, let’s have a look at the footage 🤔 pic.twitter.com/vlstN9vhSK
— Christiaan Triebert (@trbrtc) December 21, 2017
Video of the event shows Hoekstra, speaking as an expert on migration into Europe, claim that a “stealth jihad” is targeting the West. He also states the Netherlands has no-go areas, and that Islamic extremists are burning cars and politicians.
“The Islamic movement has now gotten to a point where they have put Europe into chaos – chaos in the Netherlands, there are cars being burned, there are politicians that are being burned,” he told the panel.
Asked about the debate on Nieuwsuur TV, Hoekstra denied ever saying the comments before insisting the statement was “fake news.”
“I didn’t say that. That is actually an incorrect statement. Yeah, we would call it fake news. I never said that,” Hoekstra insisted.
Pushed further on the matter just moments later, Hoekstra bizarrely then denied ever using the term fake news.