Trump’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Pete Hoekstra, who is no stranger to controversy after a viral video showed him lying about racist statements, is back at it again. Recently he was pressed on the video from 2015 and stated, “I didn’t say that, it’s an incorrect statement. We’d call that fake news.”
The outburst is likely to please his boss, Donald Trump. It seems to be the standard line of the administration to deny everything and call “fake news” on anything that Trump doesn’t like.
But at a press conference on Wednesday, it got even weirder as Hoekstra doubled down by insisting “I didn’t call that fake news. I didn’t use those words today” in what promises to be one of the more embarrassing appearances of the politician’s career.
Then Hoekstra tried a new tactic: He simply refused to say anything at all. Hoekstra stood in front of a room full of Dutch reporters with his mouth hanging open like an idiot as they chastised him: “This is the Netherlands. You have to answer questions. That’s not how it works.”
It does go to show the wider problem of the Trump administration and how he has managed to club together a crew of mindless sycophants that attempt the sort of narrative control that George Orwell could only dream of.
Hoekstra is one of a few notable politicians to openly protest “Islamification” of the country. His compatriot Geert Wilders considers himself an authority figure on perceived “Islamification” in the Netherlands. Wilders is part of a wider European network of influential figures who openly oppose Islam and it seems Hoekstra wants to be part of it too.
Hoekstra is likely to be in Trump’s good books, as a racist and a “fake news” warrior. He’s just the kind of mindless drone that Trump likes to control. Trump’s a master manipulator and will be delighted that one of his charges is toeing the party line, even in the face of extreme mockery. It does seem that if you work with Trump, you will be mocked for your beliefs. The extreme positions held by Trump only add to the problems.
Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call