Peter Hoekstra, the newly minted US ambassador to the Netherlands, held his first conference with the Dutch media at his new residence in the Hague on Wednesday.
It did not go well.
Dutch journalists peppered Hoekstra, who became Donald Trump’s ambassador after serving 18 years as a Republican congressman from Michigan, with questions on unsubstantiated claims he made in 2015 about the chaos the “Islamic movement” had brought to the Netherlands.
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“There are cars being burned, there are politicians that are being burned,” he had said at a conference hosted by a conservative group. “And yes, there are no-go zones in the Netherlands.”
The comments have widely been described as inaccurate, and reflect certain conspiracies about sharia law that crop up in some circles of the far-right in the West. When pressed by the Dutch reporters, Hoekstra declined to retract the comments or give specific examples to back them up.
He probably thought his Dutch name would guarantee an easy ride.
Or was not following the last dutch elections, and thought a racist mad man with blond hair was in charge?