Trump ambassador Hoekstra visits Nazi graveyard

    Ambassador Pete Hoekstra | Roel Wijnants via Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0

    Ambassador Pete Hoekstra, a GOP former Michigan congressman, posted Thursday on Twitter about his trip to a Dutch cemetery where Nazi soldiers are buried.

    Graves of many members of the Waffen S.S., an elite Nazi unit responsible for murdering Jews during the Holocaust, are at Ysselsteyn cemetery. Neo-Nazis have been known to visit to honor Nazis buried there, the Times of Israel reports.

    “Walked among the graves at Ysselsteyn, a cemetery for German soldiers from WWI & WWII. A terrible reminder of the cost of going to war and why we must always work towards peace,” wrote Hoekstra, U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands.

    Ambassador Pete Hoekstra tweet

    Trump reportedly last summer was considering the former congressman from Holland for acting director of national intelligence (DNI). Hoekstra served in Congress from 1993 to 2011 when he unsuccessfully ran for Michigan governor, losing the GOP primary to Rick Snyder, who would go on to serve two terms as governor. Hoekstra also was trounced by U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) in the 2012 election, where his China-themed ad was denounced as racist.

    In 2017, Trump tapped him as ambassador to the Netherlands, where he was born. That year, Hoekstra faced controversy while speaking on a panel when he was confronted about anti-Muslim remarks in which he claimed there are “no-go zones” in the Netherlands. Although Hoekstra claimed it was “fake news” — a favorite Trump attack — a Dutch TV interview surfaced with him saying it. He later apologized.

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    Susan J. Demas is a 19-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.