It did not go well.
Dutch journalists peppered Hoekstra with questions on unsubstantiated claims he made in 2015 about chaos that the “Islamic movement” had allegedly brought to the Netherlands.
“There are cars being burned. There are politicians that are being burned,” he said then, at a conference hosted by a conservative group. “And yes, there are no-go zones in the Netherlands.”
The comments have widely been described as inaccurate, and seem to reflect certain conspiracy theories about sharia law that crop up in some circles of the far-right in the West. When pressed by the Dutch reporters, Hoekstra declined to retract the comments or give specific examples to back them up.
In fact, after saying that he would not be “revisiting the issue,” he simply refused to answer the question at all.
But the reporters were not done with the line of questioning. Instead of moving on, another reporter would simply ask a variation of the query again.
“Everybody there had one question: That crazy statement you made, are you going to withdraw it?” Roel Geeraedts, a political reporter at the Dutch television station RTL Nieuws, said in a phone interview about the event. “We were not getting answers, so we all kept asking it.”
Geeraedts published a segment with video of the remarkable exchange on social media.