February 10th, 2014
05:26 AM ET
9 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. Karen

    Why is this important? Who really cares? This is not news, CNN.

    February 10, 2014 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  2. Marz

    I think this, if anything makes Hillary look stronger, not weaker. This is a woman who can take a punch, who when faced with a crisis can put emotions aside and instead see things from a greater perspective. And btw. "a loony toon" is definitely not the worst thing she could have called her. Nice try but I can't see how this makes her look bad.

    February 10, 2014 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  3. Edoggy

    Wow, we're 2 1/2 years away before the next presidential election and this is all the GOP are hanging their hats on. This sounds like the desperate party they are. What a sinking feeling that must be.

    February 10, 2014 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  4. May Hall

    Apparently it's a very slow news day for CNN, especially to make this old news story their lead story for the day. Even Fox News is not showing this as their lead story-the right winger's news place! Get t together CNN or you may loose some of your followers...like me!

    February 10, 2014 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  5. barb

    Didn't care then and Don't Care Now..

    February 10, 2014 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  6. nonPCrealist

    I can't stand Hillary but her husband was cheating on her, she was, and is, allowed to call Monica whatever she wants.

    February 10, 2014 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  7. diggerrigger

    Hillary is looney and Monica played a tune on Bill's....well won't discuss that here, BUT...NO to Hillary fer pres!!! What she is is not acceptable suitable to be quoted here!

    February 10, 2014 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  8. Really

    Why is this headline news when we have so much going on in the world?

    February 10, 2014 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  9. Dr Tom

    Imagine Hillary calling someone such a terrible, obscene name, "a looney toon". Well that about shoots her chances. And thank you CNN for finding a story where there is none.

    February 10, 2014 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  10. 3vilmonkey

    Wow. CNN is really pathetic these days, and to think I used to consider them to be a reputable news organization. This tripe has the HEADLINE?? Pathetic and cheap.

    February 10, 2014 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  11. Jeremy

    You guys even notice there is a little thing called Olympics happening. Sorry we (Canada) are beating you(U.S.)you have to pretend to be interested in other stuff but come on. How long can you sop up the drama. Give reality tv a little break and watch some real people doing real things..........you can't can you....you so bad want to comment how stupid I am or what I should know, or my grammer is off or spelling wrong.................DRAMA.

    February 10, 2014 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  12. NameDL Page

    What kind of loony tune sicko reporter would go back 15 years to try to drag up dirt. This is typical of cnn.

    February 10, 2014 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  13. David Fish

    I don't get the story. Lewinski was looney tunes. How else would you describe an adult woman fooling around with the President of the United States.

    February 10, 2014 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  14. Bill

    When Hillary is elected President I'll be sure to break out the cigars

    February 10, 2014 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  15. george

    Good one greenaxe, too bad your blame the reps for everything is showing your ignorance. Who is in power? Who has been in power for the last 6 years? America has 48 million people not working. Why, because the idiots in power, the dems, don't want people to be informed or working.

    February 10, 2014 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  16. Dubya

    Hey CNN

    Did a high school student write this article?

    Here is a quote, I'll let you figure out the errors yourself:

    Hillary Clinton was the face of the White House’s 1993 push on healthcare 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.”

    You should probably read stories BEFORE you publish them. That was how journalists used to operate.

    February 10, 2014 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  17. mee

    I DON'T CARE, OLD NEWS!!!! CNN do some work and get the REAL NEWS

    February 10, 2014 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  18. William Carrell

    Hey hillary dillary, did you bust him because he had "ring around the u know what" from Monica's red lipstick? If you would look in the mirror you would see why Wild Bill did what he did. You think she was the only one- ha ha ha. I hope you do not get to be pres, after helping murder Americans in Bengazi you are a disgrace.

    February 10, 2014 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  19. Amy Jonea

    She could have called her worse. I would have. What a big uproar over nothing.

    February 10, 2014 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  20. TheBlueDress

    Srsly!! What is the value in rehashing all this again?!!!!!!

    February 10, 2014 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  21. Denise

    Loony toon who can't keep her mouth shut (in more ways than one).....hey, go for it CNN....

    February 10, 2014 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  22. grace gayle

    Not an importent discussion for "the Clintons". Respect for the office et al..... So was the President supposed to call a

    cab and take Ms Lewinsky downtown to @ Sheraton or some other hotel? I don't think so.

    Admire both Pres.and Mrs. Clinton very much. Not anyones business but thiers!! YES.I'm ready for Hilary.

    (Not that they haven't already gone above) and beyond

    February 10, 2014 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  23. countingdown

    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?

    So, it is OK with you libs for persons of great power to take advantage of a young women?
    Answer the questions by southerngent above yours one by one in your next post!
    I actually feel sorry for you!

    February 10, 2014 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  24. Jack 2

    Did they think she was going to say something nice about her husbands mistress?

    February 10, 2014 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  25. Denise

    I'm proud of Hillary and Bill's long term marriage........let's focus on why so many right wing radio hosts go from wife to wife.....obviously there is some hanky panky going on while they're still married......who cares as long as they're consenting adults?

    February 10, 2014 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
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