The State Department distanced itself on Wednesday from the baseless anti-Muslim theory spread by its ambassador to the Netherlands a few years ago, but it declined to call the remarks inaccurate.
During a news conference at the State Department’s headquarters in Washington, Undersecretary Steve Goldstein told reporters that Pete Hoekstra, the new U.S. ambassador in the Netherlands, had “made comments that should not have been made” when asked about Hoekstra’s statements about Muslim no-go zones and people being burned alive because of the Islamic movement.
“The Ambassador made mistakes in 2015,” said Goldstein, who like Hoekstra, is a recent political appointee. “Those comments were not the position of the State Department, and you will never hear those words from this podium.”
Still, Goldstein refused to label Hoekstra’s comments inaccurate despite being pressed by reporters at the briefing.
Goldstein was asked whether he believed there were any no-go zones in Europe.
“I’ll get back to you on that question,” he said. “That’s not the language we would use.”
In 2015, Hoekstra spoke at a conference hosted by a right-wing anti-terrorism group, claiming without evidence that the “Islamic movement” had brought chaos to the Netherlands.
“There are cars being burned. There are politicians that are being burned,” he said. “And yes, there are no-go zones in the Netherlands.”
The remarks, which play off an unsupported theory that is popular in right-wing media,
Article source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/01/11/trumps-new-ambassador-ignored-questions-from-dutch-reporters-now-u-s-reporters-want-answers/
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