February 10th, 2014
05:26 AM ET
10 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. The Truth the Light and the Way

    Hillary 2016 and 2020...an intelligent progressive dynamic individual with a great former President at her side...soon to be the First Gentleman...yea!

    February 10, 2014 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  2. TJ

    Why is this the top headline on your website!! This is not news. It belongs on the cover of People magazine. Please educate me, don't try to entertain me...

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

    I think Hillary nailed it – Monica was a juvenile loony-toon and no threat to her personally or to her marriage. Bill wasn't giving up Hillary for a twit like Monica.

    Monica was good for a fling but that was about it.

    February 10, 2014 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  4. MIKLE

    Again Clinton? Come on, don't we cannot found somebody else. The same s...

    February 10, 2014 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  5. barbarianofgor

    The "Right" can only attack, swing mud, and block government in ways they'd shriek "Treason!" if the left did it. IMO the Left needs to get a bit more aggressive and attack back, the right has far more fault -especially in morality- than they.

    February 10, 2014 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  6. Greenspam

    Monica Lewinsky's high point of her life was the seduction of a married American President while he was vulnerable. Incidentally, that was also Bill Clinton's low point of his life.

    February 10, 2014 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  7. Silence DoGood

    @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!
    ------------–
    Instead of hypothetical rambling, I would prefer to stick to events that actually happened, you know, reality. I must say typing your bloviating comments in all caps is so very persuasive.

    February 10, 2014 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  8. Alejandro Hill

    CNN ... this story comes under the heading of BFD. Covering this story means you ran out of real stories ... you important stuff that matters. You should put a video feed screen at the supermarket at check out right next to the tabloids and just run this crap... just to keep shoppers updated on "bottom of the barrel" stuff! Way to go CNN!
    You are becoming an anachronism in journalism...

    February 10, 2014 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  9. BeverlyNC

    So why did CNN change the picture of this story from Rand Paul who brought up this piece of non-news? Monica was a fool and she basically stalked Bill by being at every campaign event where he would be. I don't know any wife who would speak positively of the woman cheating with her husband. Bill was at fault and he paid for it more than just having to deal with Hillary.
    This not news. It is more Republican desperation garbage directly told by Rand Paul and who cares what that "looney toon" thinks!

    February 10, 2014 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  10. donna

    CNN! This is NOT news! This is a front page gossip column! Come on!

    February 10, 2014 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Who cares. When my husband cheated you should have heard all the names I called his mistress.

    February 10, 2014 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  12. John M

    CNN, this comes off as click baiting and/or mindlessly picking up "fresh news" at the service of a political agenda.
    It's appears to me this news source is on a downward spiral into inanity.

    February 10, 2014 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  13. Phoenix05

    Great, Just what I needed. To be reminded about something that I had forgotten Eons ago. Some skeletons needs to be laid to rest and forgotten about.

    February 10, 2014 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  14. Jimmy Joe Bob

    Who cares? This was almost 20 years ago.

    February 10, 2014 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  15. Jay

    CNN you couldnt find anything else to report. I mean really you wasted your time and money reporting this. WOW

    February 10, 2014 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  16. Alejandro Hill

    CNN ... this story comes under the heading of BFD. Covering this story means you ran out of real stories ... you know important stuff that matters. You should put a video feed screen at the supermarket at check out right next to the tabloids and just run this crap... just to keep shoppers updated on "bottom of the barrel" stuff! Way to go CNN!
    You are becoming an anachronism in journalism...

    February 10, 2014 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  17. Silence DoGood

    @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.
    ----------------
    Oh I see the conservative fascination with this chapter of history. They have a thing for finding out what we all do in our bedrooms and private life. Find out if we are marrying the wrong kind of person, believing in the wrong God, etc.

    February 10, 2014 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  18. dl

    even worse, she called Bill a 'scally-wag' ...

    February 10, 2014 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  19. sly

    "I can't think the name "hillary" without thinking of Bengazi and 4 dead Americans."
    =====
    4 Americans dead because Republicans banned security to the embassy there.

    Worse – the fools who died rejected Secretary of State Clinton's requests (3 times!) to increase security.

    You get what you reap, and those idiots there were killed both by Republicans in Congress, and their own ignorance. Sad. True.

    Thank you Hillary Clinton for at least TRYING to get those folks to increase their security. Can't always convince hard-heads though...

    February 10, 2014 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  20. glaird

    So who is the bigger loon? The one who violates a trust with the most important person in their life? Or the one who sits by, lets it happen, and then does nothing?

    February 10, 2014 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  21. The Truth the Light and the Way

    Here the name Bush and I can't help but think of 9/11 and 3000 dead...two wars and 10's of thousands dead...here the name Christie...old school GOP and corruption, Paul think of a Looney father and loonier son...Hillary 2016 and 2020

    February 10, 2014 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  22. I OpT OUT

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

    Thats because all of you people in DC and politics in general are completely without morals. I believe its pretty requisite to be a narcissistic Looney toon to even be associated with the very idea of politics. All of you disgust me beyond words.

    February 10, 2014 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  23. American Worker

    Democrat women have a war against each other and especially against those not in their clique.
    The hypocrisy is obvious.

    February 10, 2014 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  24. rosethornne

    Who cares?

    Besides the loony toon tighty righties who want to police other people's genitals, I mean.

    February 10, 2014 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  25. max

    Might as will rename this site to "The CNNquirer".

    February 10, 2014 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
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