Dutch reporter catches Hoekstra peddling 'fake news'

Pete Hoekstra

Pete Hoekstra

A newly sworn-in USA 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.

Video of the interview shows journalist Wouter Zwart confront Ambassador Pete Hoekstra over Hoekstra's claims there are so-called "no-go zones" in the Netherlands where politicians and cars were being set on fire. Hoekstra, who was born in Holland but represented MI in the US House of Representatives, has now been caught up in a fake news wrangle.

Zwart's report on NOS' Nieuwsuur program then plays the specific portion of Ambassador Hoekstra's 2015 comments. The incident is a weird quagmire of denials and accusations.

Challenged about having called this "fake news", Hoekstra goes on to deny to Zwart that he had used the phrase "fake news".

"Chaos in the Netherlands, there are cars being burned, there are politicians that are being burned - and yes, there are no-go zones in the Netherlands."
The event was hosted by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a group the Southern Poverty Law Center called "the premier financier of anti-Muslim voices and radical ideologies".

The idea of no-go zones holds that there are lawless Islamist neighbourhoods in Europe where Sharia law is imposed, and non-Muslims aren't permitted.

"I didn't say that", Hoekstra replies. That is actually an incorrect statement. "Yeah, we would call it 'fake news.' I never said that".

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"No, it's not what I said", Hoekstra answers.

But here's the kicker: Hoekstra then denies his denial.

The new United States ambassador to the Netherlands has been caught out on Dutch television after a journalist quizzed him about comments he had made about Islamic extremism in the country.

"And yes", he continues, "there are no-go zones in the Netherlands".

During his time in Congress, Hoekstra tried to claim that weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq and ordered the creation of an online archive that ended up posting documents that could serve as a guide to building a nuclear bomb.

The ambassador was born in Groningen but his family emigrated to the USA when he was three.

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