The new United States ambassador to the Netherlands, Pete Hoekstra of Michigan, tried accusing a Dutch reporter of citing “fake news” and it didn't go over so well for him.
In a television interview with Dutch news program Nieuwsuur, Hoekstra, who was born in the Netherlands but moved to the U.S. at a young age, initially denied making statements about “no-go zones” in the Netherlands to Dutch journalist Wouter Zwart.
So-called “no-go zones” are said to be areas in Europe and the United States that are run by jihadists and are off-limits to non-Muslims, writes David A. Graham in a 2015 article in The Atlantic, adding that: “They don't exist.”
Zwart was referencing comments Hoekstra made on a 2015 panel titled "Muslim Migration into Europe: Eurabia come True?” in which Hoekstra claimed: “The Islamic movement is 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. … And, yes, there are no-go zones in the Netherlands.”
“I didn't say that,” Hoekstra responded when Zwart summarized the statement. “That is actually an incorrect statement. Yeah, we would call it 'fake news.'”
Dutch journalist to new US Ambassador: you said there were 'no go zones' in Netherlands, where are they?
Ambassador: That's fake news, I didn't say that
Journalist: We can show you that clip now.
Ambassador: Err 😳🤥 pic.twitter.com/8ohIOzmYAc— Sunny Hundal (@sunny_hundal) December 22, 2017
Except there's video of Hoekstra's earlier statement, which was given at the panel discussion in Charleston, South Carolina. The Washington Post reports that the journalist showed Hoekstra video of his comments.
A Twitter post today captures their ensuing exchange:
“You call it 'fake news,'” Zwart says before Hoekstra interrupts him.
“I didn't call that 'fake news.'” Hoekstra said. “I didn't use the words today.”
“No?” Zwart said.
“No, I don't think I did,” Hoekstra said.
Hoekstra, a Republican from Holland, Michigan, represented west Michigan's 2nd Congressional District from 1993 to 2011 and served as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
An attempt to reach Hoekstra was unsuccessful.
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