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. Bonechips

    Seriously CNN? Must be a slow news day.

    February 10, 2014 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  2. southerngent

    Silence DoGood
    @gladiatorgrl
    I see the hypocrite conservatives talking about values and character again. These are the same hypocrites that put Gingrich up as a Prez nominee and voted Sanford back in.
    ..........
    At least the Clintons stuck it out for better or worse. -–The conservatives are still trying to hang on the "morality" thing and false righteous indignation. Remember the old bumper sticker: The Moral Majority is neither.

    WHAT WOULD YOUR OPINION BE IF MONICA HAD BEEN A MALE?
    WHAT WOULD YOUR OPINION BE IF SHE WAS UNDERAGE,?
    WHAT WOULD YOUR OPINION BE IF HE HAD BEEN A PRIEST?
    WHAT WOULD YOUR OPINION BE IF HE HAD BEEN A COLLEGE PROFESSOR?
    WHAT WOULD YOUR OPINION BE IF HE HAD BEEN THE COMMAND IN CHIEF ( OH! YEAH HE WAS WAS WASN'T HE) AND SEDUCED A YOUNG CADET?
    WHAT WOULD YOUR OPINION BE IF HE HAD BEEN A POLICE OFFICER?
    ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS, THEN COMPLAIN ABOUT THE CONSERVATIVES HATING WOMEN!
    ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS AND TELL US HOW IT IS BUSH'S FAULT!

    February 10, 2014 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  3. glenview0818

    Was Monica Lewinsky married, was she in a position of power, I can not possibly believe the number of people that are finding fault with Lewinsky, there is the distinct possibility that the President violated the law and should be in jail, not some anti-hero.

    February 10, 2014 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  4. DWT

    Gosh. None of our business.

    February 10, 2014 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  5. Fr33th1nk3r

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

    Nice try, Repubs.

    Clinton's scandal hurt nobody, caused nobody to lose their lives or be inconvenienced. The only people it affected were his family and the parties involved. The act was consensual and between two adults. Most of us could not care less if the Pres is getting some trim in the White House.

    On the other hand– we have Republican governors shutting down bridges as a form of politcal coercion (which did cost lives), and withholding disaster relief funds to use as another coercion tool.

    GOP = Extinct in 2016

    February 10, 2014 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  6. FajitaBob

    Mistake? Did she really say, "mistake???" Because that was no mistake. She should have said it was an excuse. HER excuse to kick Bill in the...

    February 10, 2014 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  7. john

    CNN you are dropping to new lows. You resemble the Enquirer and other trashy publications rather than an educated news organization. Cheap you are becoming. Are you too owned by FOX?

    February 10, 2014 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  8. nancy

    THis is so stupid we have much bigger issues than to read ramblings of a dead woman. this is the lady's diary and we all know what goes into them.....

    February 10, 2014 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  9. Fr33th1nk3r

    "Was Monica Lewinsky married, was she in a position of power, I can not possibly believe the number of people that are finding fault with Lewinsky, there is the distinct possibility that the President violated the law and should be in jail, not some anti-hero."

    What law did the President break by getting a BJ in the oval office? Do they still enforce adultery prison time in your neck of the woods in the deep south?

    February 10, 2014 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  10. Larry L

    I saw Rand Paul mentioning that incident. If that's all he's got his campaign is going to be short and forgettable. Still, it's the sort of thing I'd expect from the nut-job.

    February 10, 2014 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  11. Maria Rivera-Carvalho

    This is one of most irrelevant pieces of "news" around. People, get a life and report things of real interest and substance. We already have Fox for irrelevant and outlandish trash.

    February 10, 2014 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  12. al

    I can't think the name "hillary" without thinking of Bengazi and 4 dead Americans.

    February 10, 2014 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  13. For real

    Their family affair has not thing to do with my vote. People get over with. Yah U. you think you are perfect.....Sh i t

    February 10, 2014 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  14. Kevin

    Well, at least Bill created a job.

    February 10, 2014 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  15. Scott

    Republicans in particular are a bunch of hypocrites and liars who don't live up to Christian moral standards. Jesus was about helping the poor and did not waste his time calling them lazy and moochers.

    I respect Bill Clinton since he helped the economy more than any other modern President. I hold him in higher regard than Ronald Reagan, who I also respect. I respect Hillary Clinton and think she probably would make a great President. Republicans seem a bit desperate since they don't have a good candidate for President in 2016.

    February 10, 2014 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  16. Mmmoke

    Bush/Cheeney were too busy in squandering the US treasury and impeaching Clinton. They focussed the country's intelligence agencies on spying into Clintons bedroom and Monica's dress rather than Bin Ladin and his fanatics, who then had the freedom to launch 9/11.

    February 10, 2014 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  17. Mike

    This was forever ago.. Who cares...If all she said was Loony toon is quite nice considering. Give it a rest Rep. This isn't damaging at all. Try again.

    February 10, 2014 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  18. Thomas

    This is news? Well here's a flash, I suspect Hillary had stronger names for both her husband and this young lady at the time.

    February 10, 2014 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  19. George Siciliano

    What Hilary should have said...Hey Monica why not come up to the residence and we'll have a 3way! I know a few women who would have gone a little beyond calling her a "Luny Tune".

    February 10, 2014 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  20. Open Eyes

    Did anyone read the pages of the diary? There was so much more to this that the drama of her husbands affair. These pages give you an inside look into her strengths and her weaknesses. But we are Americans so of course focus on the DRAMA..... Then we wonder why our country is where it is... oh yes the blame game it MUST be because of Obama, It MUST be because of George Bush... not because politicians are about themselves and will not work together! They may not get elected next term... All they care about is POWER.

    February 10, 2014 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  21. Ron

    If she called Monica a "Loony toon" i think she nailed it. Not that I want her as president, but in this instance, I'd certainly agree with her.

    February 10, 2014 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  22. Deb

    What year did this happen? This is not news! Tell us about voter suppression, corporate tax evasion, dark money in campaigns, insider knowledge stock investment by the Congress members... anything that is actual NEWS vs. gossip. Feed our brains for once, make us think and wonder!

    February 10, 2014 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  23. SourMilkSea

    Dear CNN,

    On OTHER news websites, things like Iran pulling ships to maritime borders, in an affront to the US, as well ass successfully testing missiles, AS WELL AS, AOL CEO's 12 million dollar salary he would not deter from to offset a 2 million dollar one-time insurance premium that led to him canceling benefits packages...are all things on their front page.

    NOT revisiting Monica & Bill and what Hilary's thoughts were 20 years ago...

    Lets start reporting the news with all this bandwidth, huh?

    February 10, 2014 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  24. sbeew

    if rand paul thinks lewinsky is still relevant what does he think of george bush? weak sauce

    February 10, 2014 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  25. Brian

    Does anyone really care? CNN has nothing better to post in news? Maybe I will switch news providers

    February 10, 2014 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
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