If the new U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands Pete Hoekstra was looking to make a fresh start to his stint in the Hague despite his remarks in 2015 about how many areas in the country had been rendered “no-go” zones in the country due to “Islamic violence,” the Dutch press was having none of it.

The controversial remarks about Muslim violence came back to haunt him at his first press conference Wednesday at his new residence in the Hague, where reporters hammered him into an awkward corner.

The reporters asked him if he still stood behind what he had said while speaking on a panel at a conference at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a far-right think tank, in 2015.

“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 then, adding, “And yes, there are no-go zones in the Netherlands.”

The tense exchange began with one reporter asking the ambassador, “Do you now reach the conclusion you were wrong when you stated that politicians and cars were being burned? … Was it false?”

A visibly backing off Hoekstra, responded with: “I issued a statement, I expressed my regrets, and my apology for the comments that I made, and I’m not revisiting the issue.”

US Ambassador to Netherlands
Former Congressman Pete Hoekstra was nominated by President Donald Trump as the ambassador to the Netherlands, July 24, 2017. In this photo, Hoekstra speaks during a news conference 'To Make a Healthcare 'House Call' on Washington' at the US Capitol in Washington, D.C., Nov. 5, 2009. Getty Images

Looking for a reprieve in another direction, he was met with a variation of the same question by another reporter, who asked: “Any example of a Dutch politician who was burned in recent years?”

Hoekstra took refuge in an awkward smile and silence, and then looked to answer another question. However, the reporters were not satisfied with this response, with one chiding the ambassador for refusing to answer the question: “This is the Netherlands, you have to answer questions.”

This is not the first time that Hoekstra has been confronted over his controversial remarks. Just after being sworn in as the Dutch ambassador in December, he falsely claimed to Dutch journalist Wouter Zwart that he had never made the remarks and called them “fake news.”

The exchange which was caught on camera and travelled around the world, also had him denying moments later that he had called his statements fake news.

The videos of the exchange along with his original remarks in 2015 went viral and drew condemnation in the U.S. and the Netherlands.

Meanwhile, the State Department took note of the embarrassing ambassadorial moment in the Hague, and disavowed Hoekstra's 2015 comments Thursday. Under Secretary of State for Public Affairs Steve Goldstein told reporters that Hoekstra's comments were wrong and don't reflect the U.S. view of the Netherlands.

"The State Department does not agree with those statements," Goldstein told reporters. "That is not the language we would use."

"The ambassador made mistakes in 2015, made comments that should not have been made," he added. "He recognizes that."

Goldstein said Hoekstra would give an interview to a Dutch news outlet Friday to clarify the matter.