February 10th, 2014
05:26 AM ET
7 months ago

Documents reveal Hillary Clinton’s private reaction to her husband's cheating scandal with Monica Lewinsky

Updated 4:10 p.m. ET, 2/10/2014

Washington (CNN) - Hillary Clinton told a close friend that Monica Lewinsky was a "narcissistic loony toon," and also discussed in detail why she decided to forgive her husband for having an affair with the White House intern, according to documents penned by Diane Blair, a close friend and longtime confidant to the former first lady.

The contents of the documents, which are part of Blair’s papers housed at the University of Arkansas, were first reported by the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website that posted the story late on Sunday night.

CNN has confirmed the documents are authentic and has reached out to a spokesman for Hillary Clinton, who has not responded.

Read the documents

Blair’s writings are made up of notes and diary entries based on communication the former political science professor who died in 2000 had with Mrs. Clinton.

“It was a lapse, but she says to his credit he tried to break it off, tried to pull away, tried to manage someone who was clearly a 'narcissistic loony toon'; but it was beyond control," Blair wrote about a conversation she had with Clinton on September 9, 1998, during the height of the Lewinsky scandal that led to her husband’s impeachment.

Blair went on to write that Hillary Clinton had suggested her husband had made the mistake with Lewinsky because of the personal toll the deaths of his mother, her father, and their friend Vince Foster had taken on him while "the ugly forces started making up hateful things about them, pounding on them."

The story comes as speculation heats up that the former New York senator and secretary of state is weighing a second run for the White House.

The Blair papers were not made public until 2010, well after Clinton’s unsuccessful presidential bid in 2008.

And the details come as Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, a likely 2016 GOP White House contender, continues to call the Lewinsky scandal a liability for Democrats.

Some Democrats pushed back, saying the documents don't reveal anything more about Hillary Clinton's feelings about the controversy than what she wrote in her memoir, "Living History."

Clinton described herself as "dumbfounded, heartbroken and outraged" when her husband told her about his relations with Lewinsky.

"Gulping for air, I started crying and yelling at him," she wrote. "'What do you mean? What are you saying? Why did you lie to me?'"

Democrats argue the passages from her own book are more powerful because they come directly from her.

Where is Monica Lewinsky?

The Clinton-Lewisnky affair captivated the nation’s attention as the sordid details became international news. The relationship and grand jury investigation led the House to impeach Clinton on two charges in December 1998. In February 1999, the Senate acquitted him.

Just days after Clinton’s impeachment, Blair wrote that Hillary called her, and they had a lengthy conversation about impeachment.

“She sounded very up, almost jolly,” writes Blair. “Told me how she and Bill and Chelsea had been to church, to a Chinese restaurant, to a Shakespeare play, greeted everywhere with wild applause and cheers.”

She added, “This, she said, is what drives their adversaries totally nut(s), that they don't bend, do not appear to be suffering.”

According to Blair, Clinton said that “most people in this town have no pain threshold.”

Blair’s writings also show Hillary Clinton sought to downplay the relationship between her husband and Lewisnky.

“HRC insists, no matter what people say, it was gross inappropriate behavior but it was consensual (was not a power relationship) and was not sex within any real meaning… of the term,” Blair wrote.

In addition to Hillary Clinton's private thoughts on the Lewinsky matter, Blair's writing talks about Clinton's support for a single payer health care system, as well as her thoughts on foreign policy, among other subjects.

According to notes about a dinner Blair had with the first couple on February 23, 1993, Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton talked “at length about the complexities of healthcare,” with the first lady saying stating “managed competition a crock, single payer necessary; maybe add to Medicare.”

Hillary Clinton was the face of the White House’s unsuccessful 1993 push on health care reform and healthcare comes up throughout the Blair notes.

Clinton’s admission that “single payer necessary” contrasts what she has sad in the past. In a 2008 interview with the New York Times, Clinton said, “You know, I have thought about this, as you might guess, for 15 years and I never seriously considered a single-payer system.”

Blair, a political science professor from Arkansas, joined Gov. Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign as a senior researcher and worked as a senior adviser on his successful 1996 reelection bid. She became a close friend to both Clintons, but particularly the first lady.

She died in 2000 at the age of 61. At the time, The New York Times reported that Hillary Clinton eulogized Blair as “the best person that one could have as a friend.”

The documents portray Blair’s relationship with Clinton as both professional and personal. While they appeared to talk extensively about policy and politics, they also discussed books, travel and family.

The Blair documents were donated by her husband, James, in 2005. The documents were processed and completed by 2010 and contain 109 boxes of information that range from Blair’s professional materials to her correspondence with the Clintons.

If Clinton runs in 2016, what will Biden do?

James once helped Hillary Clinton make $100,000 in commodity futures trading, which drew scrutiny for its timing.

According to the Free Beacon, Hillary Clinton was a supporter of making the Blair records public in 2010.

“With this collection, [Diane Blair’s] contributions will grow and live on, enlarging our understanding of history, politics and culture,” Hillary Clinton reportedly said, according to the Free Beacon. "I hope also that some young scholar will come along and write the story of Diane.

The Washington Free Beacon reporter who first poured through the documents didn't think she'd find all that much to write about.

"I went down to Arkansas. I honestly didn't think that there would be much there, because I feel like so much of the Clintons, especially the 1990's related stuff, has been so picked over by reporters. But yeah, I went down and surprisingly there were some interesting things there," Alana Goodman told CNN's Brooke Baldwin in an interview on CNN Newsroom.

Moment of tension between Bill and Hillary Clinton


Filed under: Bill Clinton • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (955 Responses)
  1. erichx101x

    Yet the marriage survived, a lot can be said about that.

    February 10, 2014 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  2. Tina

    If it is true so what? When these things happen almost all women get angry with the husband and then call the other woman names. Nothing new.

    February 10, 2014 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  3. Steve

    Hillary, one question for you. Why did Bill cheat with the number of women he cheated with? I don't blame him personally, but I do fault him for messing around with a women a mere 3 or so years older than his own daughter as President.

    February 10, 2014 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  4. Jill

    Is that all she called her? Wow. Better woman than I, for sure.

    February 10, 2014 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  5. tony

    gimmee a break. are y'all so desperate for stories?

    February 10, 2014 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  6. Pete

    Let's face it. If after 20 years this is the best the radical right can come up with 2016 will be a cake walk

    February 10, 2014 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  7. Jesse

    Pot this is kettle, kettle this is pot

    February 10, 2014 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  8. gustifer53

    I don't want to believe this, BUT is CNN in the pocket of Rand "The Idiot" Paul???? Makes one wonder, cause all of a sudden every idiotic thing he spews is headlines on CNN and nowhere else. Ummmmmmmmmmmmm

    February 10, 2014 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  9. SOMEONE

    Why is this in headline news?! Stupid nonsense...

    February 10, 2014 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    Shame on you CNN! This is why we can't trust news organizations, they don't seem to have a brain! You are running a story from how many years ago just because the Republican Party needs to damage Hilary in some way! You suck CNN! John Stewart has you down correctly – your are old news, and look what you are publishing today, old news! A story from the 90's? What are you, the next FOX News?

    February 10, 2014 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  11. Barbi

    Why is this issue even report worthy??? Hillary got made fun of for "standing by her man" and now you are writing to try and undermine her by letting us all know she is human because she called the other women looney toons!! Man, I would love to live in the world you do where everyone is always nice and never does anything wrong. Maybe the person you love will never hurt you like that, I would be kind of upset if Hillary did not call her anything else.

    February 10, 2014 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  12. karenascofield

    Slow news day, CNN?

    February 10, 2014 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  13. Zip_Nips

    If you’re dumb enough to believe that 300+ million different combinations of human thoughts, emotions, ideas, needs, desires and concerns can be summed up neatly into one of two ‘sides’ – red or blue – then you deserve to remain ignorant.

    February 10, 2014 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  14. Mr.Fred

    Jeez, so what.

    February 10, 2014 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  15. tiny

    How is this news?

    February 10, 2014 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  16. Vincent

    Why is this even a story, let alone a headline? Shameful, CNN, maybe report on the demonstrations in North Carolina or Bosnia, or anything that is actual news instead.

    February 10, 2014 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  17. Deathstalker74

    Rand Paul is NOT the only person in the world who cares. Just because this little episode is inconvenient for you liberal lemmings does not mean it's not important.

    February 10, 2014 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  18. Uncle Sam

    She can play many tunes, and she wasn't just whistling dixie.

    February 10, 2014 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  19. Gpm

    Hillary is actually talking about herself, because she was the looney toon who stayed with the loser. It's always easy to blame the other woman/man for your spouses cheating and to forget the real culprit – your husband. I hope she does run for president because the press will eat her alive. Exposure is the only path to redemption.

    February 10, 2014 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  20. killcourtney

    This is great...Republicans think this will hurt her but will only turn more women against them. Please keep doing this so your party will die the miserable death it deserves.

    February 10, 2014 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  21. allenwoll

    If not, why not ? ?

    February 10, 2014 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  22. Gene

    The real deal is that all of this is coming out now because of Rand Paul's attempt to stir up controversy and distraction to damage Hillary's national image by going after her husband. The problem with that tactic is, when you go after someone's family, it leaves your family open to scrutiny. Rand Paul's father has been involved in his own share of controversy, which could make him a target (just like Ted Cruz's father was). If and when this does happen, let's see if Rand cries foul.

    February 10, 2014 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  23. conoclast

    Ah, drama and drama-queens: the lifeblood of CNN!

    So it's "news" that Hillary harbors some decades-old ill feelings toward Monica-the-mouth??

    February 10, 2014 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  24. visitor

    Hey Southern History, the vast majority of the country didn't care and did not want Clinton impeached especially by the clown car full of Republicans who were in absolutely rabid delight over pushing scandal after scandal while ignoring the country's actual needs. They did not care despite a unified press that gave the right wing whatever the heck they wanted. If Bill Clinton ran for President in 2016 he would be elected in a landslide.

    As for the crash of 2008, I assume you mean Clinton signed Graham Leach Bliley instead of vetoing it. You know, all three of them, G L and B, were Republicans right?

    In one bunch of baloney sentences you are decrying Clinton not vetoing Republican legislation that resulted in a major deregulation of the insurance and financial spaces which did lead, (along with non existent regulatory oversight, rating agency fraud, CRDs that were backed by non existent reserves, and zero interest rates thanks to Greenspan) to the crash. In the next, you claim Hillary Clinton is a Marxist. Do you have a clue what you are talking about, or do you spend your life thinking in cartoons?

    I am over 50 and do know the definition of Marxism, I am quite willing to bet much better than you and in fact, my bet is you have never been to a country that considered itself Socialist much less Marxist.

    February 10, 2014 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  25. Alejandro Hill

    CNN is this the best story you can for a headline story today. What !!! nothing out there bleeding or shot or mangled?

    February 10, 2014 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39