The US ambassador to the Netherlands has been caught out after dismissing suggestions he once said there were “no-go zones” in the country because of radical Muslims - only to be shown footage of him stating precisely that.
A now viral video shows Donald Trump’s pick Pete Hoekstra accusing journalist Wouter Zwart of “fake news” after he was confronted about saying that cars and politicians are being “set on fire”.
Zwart: “You mentioned in a debate that there are no-go zones in the Netherlands, and that cars and politicians are being set on fire in the Netherlands.”
Hoekstra: “I didn’t say that. This is actually an incorrect statement. We would call it fake news. I never said that.”
Hoekstra is then shown clips of him speaking at a 2015 panel discussion titled ‘Muslim Migration into Europe’, in Charleston, South Carolina.
In the video, Hoekstra clearly argues Muslims have brought “chaos” to the Netherlands, and that bureaucrats and vehicles are being set ablaze, and says: “Yes, there are no-go zones in the Netherlands.”
Hoekstra then doubled down on his position.
When challenged about having called the broadcaster’s suggestions “fake news”, Hoekstra denied he had used the phrase “fake news”.
“I didn’t call that fake news,” he said with a straight face. “I didn’t use the words today. I don’t think I did.”
Hoekstra was born in the Netherlands but left when he was three and was raised in the US. He served as a Republican Congressman for Michigan from 1993 to 2011.