A video by RT that accused Hillary Clinton of being the "Illuminati's candidate" was satire and was taken down because people didn't get the joke, a spokesperson for the Kremlin-owned channel said Thursday.
The clip, titled "Obvi-Illuminati," argued that because the Groundwork, a technology vendor to the Clinton campaign that is backed by Google's Eric Schmidt, has a triangle logo and has "backers who speak Hebrew," it — and by extension, Clinton — are cut-outs for the Illuminati.
"It was a satirical video, clearly made in jest – but apparently not clearly enough," RT spokesperson Anna Belkina said in an email to BuzzFeed News. "We took it down because some people misinterpreted it and we wanted to avoid further confusion."
The video features Lori Harfenist, who runs a site and YouTube channel called The Resident and who produces some videos for RT, explaining the conspiracy involving the Groundwork, which she notes in the video has a parent company with a Hebrew name.
"Thanks to their logo, it's at least easy to detect what their real mission is," Harfenist says in the video, appearing sincere. "You just need to be awake enough to see it.
Asked on Twitter about the video's removal, Harfenist said she doesn't work for RT and doesn't know why the video has been removed.
"Don't know! I don't work for RT," she tweeted. "I am a video maker in my bedroom w many clients."
In a phone call with BuzzFeed News, Harfenist reiterated that the video was meant as a spoof of an Illuminati conspiracy theory and that she's not an RT employee.
"I am just an independent contractor, I make videos for lots of different people," Harfenist said.
Asked about the impetus for the video, she said she had seen a Quartz article about the Groundwork and "I thought it was funny that it had an Illuminati logo."
"I’m not a reporter, I’m not a journalist, I'm just someone who makes funny videos and most of them are very stupid, and because RT is so political, this is being taken as something that it's not," she said. Harfenist said that part of her family is Jewish and "lots of my friends are Jewish" and that there was nothing anti-Semitic about the video.
"It’s ridiculous to try to make this a nefarious propaganda thing," she said.
Harfenist's other videos include "Bill Gates calls for New World Order, gives finger" and "US government's proof of UFOs is now online!"
RT America's tweet of the video is still up, though the video itself has been removed from YouTube. Tablet Magazine saved the video and posted it themselves.