The US ambassador to the Netherlands has again come under fire, this time for inviting notorious Dutch conspiracy theorist and tv presenter Robert Jensen to lunch.
Jensen, who is closely allied with the far-right Forum voor Democracy, campaigns against the lockdown and according to fact checkers, made 23 incorrect or unproven statements about coronavirus in a recent video.
The video, Stop de Lockdown, was taken off line by YouTube on Tuesday for violating community guidelines on Tuesday, the day Jensen met the ambassador.
In particular, Pete Hoekstra’s sign-off that it is #tijdvoorwaarheid – time for truth – aroused commentator hackles.
Got to catch up with De Jensen Show host @robertjensen and hear this thoughts on #COVID19, #China & what the media could be doing better to cover it. We both agree it is #tijdvoorwaarheid pic.twitter.com/J6mLvloBMp
— Ambassador Pete Hoekstra (@usambnl) May 12, 2020
Earlier this month eyebrows were raised when Hoekstra appeared on the Forum voor Democratie’s own video channel in an interview with founder Thierry Baudet. Last year he was also a guest speaker at the party’s conference.
Hoekstra got off to a tricky beginning as ambassador to the Netherlands in 2018 after he was shown to have said that there are no-go zones in the Netherlands and that politicians were being set on fire. He first denied the comments as fake news and later admitted he was wrong.
The ambassador told DutchNews.nl in a statement that he is regularly approached by people across a broad spectrum of business and political views.
‘At the same time the embassy maintains relationships with a broad spectrum of individuals and interests. This gives me and the embassy a clearer insight into the Netherlands while also providing us with the opportunity to tell America’s story,’ the ambassador said.
‘That’s why I am also looking forward to upcoming (virtual) meetings with the Jonge Democraten, Jonge Socialisten, and Jongerenbeweging OPPOSITIE in the coming days.’
This article was updated on Wednesday afternoon to reflect the ambassador’s statement.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl
The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.
DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.