Trump's new Netherlands envoy sheds no light on 'Muslim chaos' comment

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"There are politicians that are being burned", Mr. Hoekstra said.

When Hoekstra, who was born in the Netherlands but raised in MI as a staunch social conservative, called for another question, two reporters asked him, "Why don't you answer the question?"

One reporter told him: "This is the Netherlands, you have to answer questions", while another asked if the ambassador could name a politician who had been set on fire in recent years.

"This is the Netherlands, you have to answer questions", another declared.

"Chaos in the Netherlands - there are cars being burned". But Hoekstra, squirming through his first news conference in The Hague, was merely the more visible of the Dutch media's two targets.

While Hoekstra told the crowd he was "moving on" from the anti-refugee remarks, he still couldn't avoid the issue, as yet another reporter asked, "Will you be visiting our "no-go areas"?" In that interview with Wouter Zwart, Hoekstra initially denied ever saying the Netherlands has "no go zones" where radical Muslims are creating "chaos".

"We were all astonished that he didn't want to take back the comment".

He takes up the post as United States envoy left vacant for two years, and as immigration is set to again be a hot-button issue in the Dutch local elections due on March 21.

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First asked about his comments by a Dutch reporter in December, Hoekstra denied making the statements, dismissing them as fake news.

Video of the freaky exchange, juxtaposed with his "no-go zone" remarks, went viral, and the episode drew a slew of critical headlines in the United States and the Netherlands.

In a December 23 note on Twitter Hoekstra acknowledged having made the comments in 2015 and said he regretted his exchange with the Dutch news organization: "I made certain remarks in 2015 and regret the exchange during the Nieuwsuur interview".

During a debate in 2015 Hoekstra talked about the "Islamist movement" causing havoc across Europe. "Please accept my apology", he wrote.

When a reporter pressed him on the accuracy of these statements last month, he summoned the spirit of Donald Trump, claiming, "I didn't say that, it's an incorrect statement".

The other was the USA media.

Footage of Wednesday's news conference shows Hoekstra taking questions from journalists who asked several times if Hoekstra was wrong about cars and politicians being burned. He said Hoekstra also was expected to visit various Dutch communities over the weekend, including Muslim communities.