On Wednesday, Hoekstra dug himself into an even deeper hole at a Dutch press conference marking the beginning of his ambassadorship, when reporters asked again for him to clarify: "Are politicians being burned in the Netherlands?".
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?" He then ignored multiple follow-ups, prompting one reporter to say, "This is the Netherlands - you have to answer questions".
After repeatedly being questioned on the same, Hoekstra termed the remark, which made headlines in 2015, as "fake news".
"Do you now reach the conclusion that you were wrong when you stated that politicians and cars were being burned?" one reporter asked, the Times reported.
A CNN report published this week documented multiple times Hoekstra had referred to "no-go zones", in European cities during appearances on conservative media, including talk radio, and a print op-ed, and unearthed other instances where he had given fuel to conspiracy theories about Muslims. Are politicians being burned in the Netherlands in the past?
Hoekstra repeated that he regretted the filmed exchange, which went viral on social media last month, but refused to comment further, angering reporters who were cut off by press officers. "And I am not revisiting the issue".
During his exchange with the reporter in December, Hoekstra-who served as a GOP Congressman for MI from 1993 until 2011-called claims that he'd said there were "no-go zones" in the Netherlands "fake news", before backtracking on his remark soon after.
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"The ambassador made mistakes in 2015, made comments that should not have been made. And yes, there are no-go zones in the Netherlands".
He has also suggested that former president Barrack Obama may have been aiding the rise of radical Islam on goal, the CNN report said. "That is actually an incorrect statement", Mr. Hoekstra told Mr. Zwart.
"Chaos in the Netherlands - there are cars being burned". Yet Hoekstra doubled down: "I didn't call that fake news".
In another exchange, a reporter asked Hoekstra to look at a John Adams quote mounted on a fireplace that states a concern that only "honest and wise men ever rule under this roof".
He later apologized, saying in a tweet on December 23: "I made certain remarks in 2015 and regret the exchange during the Nieuwsuur interview".
"Those comments were not the position of the State Department and you will never hear those words from this podium or in any form", he said. "And yes, there are no-go zones in the Netherlands". "Please accept my apology", he said.