"The Islamic movement has 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", he said while speaking on a panel at a conference at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a far-right think tank, at the time.
At a press conference shortly after presenting his credentials to Dutch King Willem-Alexander at a palace in The Hague, Hoekstra was repeatedly asked about the comments he made at a 2015 conference, which made headlines a year ago when he described his own words to a Dutch reporter as fake news.
Hoekstra, who was born in the Netherlands and represented Michigan's 2nd Congressional District for 18 years, was unable or unwilling to offer such proof Wednesday, promising only that he would be "revisiting the issue".
"Dutch reporters stun Trumps ambassador by pressing to admit he lied about 'no-go zones", said The Intercept, which went on to urge White House correspondents to study the footage.
The new American ambassador to the Netherlands, Peter Hoekstra, refused to comment at his inaugural press conference in Den Haag about his past allegations claiming politicians were set on fire in the Netherlands.
"Everybody there had one question: that insane statement you made, are you going to withdraw it?" said Roel Geeraedts, a political reporter at the Dutch television station RTL Nieuws in a phone interview about the event. Hoekstra denied making them, accusing the reporter of "fake news".
"This is the Netherlands, you have to answer questions", another said, as Mr. Hoekstra remained silent.
"Please, this is not how it works", the first reporter added. "It was simply untrue, so why not take it back?" Moments later, he denied that he had called them fake news. It was awkward, to be honest'.
Hoekstra pointed to the public regrets he had made for the exchange with Zwart on Wednesday.
On social media, political observers remarked on the video's clear depiction of not only the Trump administration's lack of transparency and honesty-but of the failure of much of the American corporate press to hold elected officials and their spokespeople accountable for their lies and incorrect statements. "This is about the views and the policies of the United States of America as directed by this administration".
"In the Netherlands you don't get a straight up answer, if you ask straight up questions", he said.