The State Department distanced itself Wednesday from the baseless anti-Muslim theory spread by its ambassador to the Netherlands a few years ago, but it declined to call Peter Hoekstra's 2015 remarks inaccurate.

During a news conference in Washington, Undersecretary Steve Goldstein was asked about Hoekstra's statements about Muslim no-go zones and people being burned alive because of the Islamist movement. Goldstein told reporters that Hoekstra, the new U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands, had "made comments that should not have been made."

"The ambassador made mistakes in 2015," said Goldstein, who, like Hoekstra, is a recent political appointee. "Those comments were not the position of the State Department, and you will never hear those words from this podium."

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