Actor Gerard Butler said on Monday he canceled an upcoming trip to Saudi Arabia to promote a new film because it felt like an “incredibly insensitive” time to visit amid activist Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance.
Speaking to reporters at the Pentagon, Butler said once his team was informed of what was happening, “it just didn’t feel like a good time to be getting involved.”
“It just didn’t seem like a situation that we would want to get into and as that situation hasn’t concluded, and there are no definite answers, and it’s not for me to be coming up with solutions,” the trip to Saudi Arabia — and a meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) — was therefore canceled.
Khashoggi, a permanent U.S. resident, has been missing since Oct. 2. He was last seen on surveillance footage entering the main entrance of the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Saudi officials insisted the Washington Post columnish, who was often critical of the Saudi government, left the building through another exit, but have not provided evidence.
Butler, who planned to promote his new movie “Hunter Killer,” about a standoff between a U.S. submarine and Russian forces, said neither the U.S. government nor the Navy asked him not to visit the country.
The “P.S. I Love You” star said it wasn’t explicitly the issue of “press freedom” that cut the planned trip, but rather “it didn’t feel like a trip we should be making.”
“Press freedom or not, just not for us to get involved with basically,” Butler said of the situation.
President Trump on Monday said he was "immediately" sending Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Saudi Arabia to meet with King Salman, who he said "denies any knowledge of whatever may have happened to 'our Saudi Arabian citizen.'"
While the president vowed to reporters that, "We are going to leave nothing uncovered" he suggested that "rogue killers" could've been behind Khashoggi's disappearance.
Fox News' Jennifer Griffin contributed to this report.