February 10th, 2014
05:26 AM ET
8 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. John Cram

    Wow that's what CNN has to talk about? Ask yourself who really is the Loonnnney Tune?

    February 10, 2014 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  2. misterflibble1

    *rolls eyes* WHOOOOOOOOO CARESSSSSSSSSSS? Show news day??

    February 10, 2014 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  3. Blocked_Sender

    What person isn't angry with the person whom their spouse? And all of the other information in this article is nearly 20 years old.

    February 10, 2014 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  4. DaveYoung

    Hey CNN – thanks for "moderating" my post. Hahahaha – it will probably never see the light of day. You "journalists" are amateurs and fakes.

    February 10, 2014 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  5. Nancy N

    Shame on you CNN. Give us something new.

    February 10, 2014 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  6. Joe

    CNN has nothing worthy to report so they have to default to 20 year old news stories.

    February 10, 2014 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  7. Paul Williamson

    Young female intern waylays Bill in bathroom, opens mouth wide...then saves dress with evidence...that more than qualifies for narcissism and loony..would you want your daughter or wife doing this?

    February 10, 2014 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  8. comeblowyourhorn

    Horrible Hillary is a very bad role model and candidate for President. She is unfit to be President and I hope the American people figure that out before she is elected and the country goes down the TOILET !

    February 10, 2014 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  9. Skydiver

    This story is a sad commentary on the rants of an idiot: Rand Paul. Where does he get off trying to use BILL Clinton's affair to somehow keep HILLARY Clinton out of office? The Lewinsky affair was certainly in no way Hillary's fault, and it is absolutely irrelevant to her ability to govern as President. I might add that Paul leaves out a "few" points, such as the fact that Bill Clinton continued to do an excellent job as President and that his ratings substantially increased throughout the entire impeachment process. He is certainly the best President in recent memory.

    February 10, 2014 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  10. Vijaya

    Should this be a news anyway? Why such cheap news in CNN?

    February 10, 2014 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  11. JB

    And if she did, that would be newsworthy? I can only image what I would have called her… Would you write about that?

    February 10, 2014 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  12. JJ

    Proving once again that Ms. Clinton can look the other way in a heartbeat to get what she wants.

    February 10, 2014 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  13. nonyabidnes2

    With all the news that never makes to to print, wasting time on someone calling another a ""narcissistic loony toon", is just absurd. Hillary, that is not being Presidential....

    February 10, 2014 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  14. RettasVegas

    CNN is this really news worthy...?

    WHO CARES, it's between Bill & Hilary, period.

    This is gossip about a long dead issue, if this is the best mud the GOP can sling, they really are desperate to try and discredit her on the NOTHING at this point.
    Soooo... sick of the GOP, when you think they can stoop no lower, they do.

    Independent voter

    February 10, 2014 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  15. countingdown

    Most of the post on here give approval to the actions of Bill Clinton. What you give credence to is the stupidity of statements like the idiot judge and his releasing of a guy because the victim looked beyond her years, and I have no clue his political view! Rape is rape! A person in a political position is a person in power. Where is your outrage? When this incident happened, republicans were called every name in the book for their opposition and outrage! Women, stand up against this rhetoric!

    February 10, 2014 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    And why, exactly, do we care about this??

    February 10, 2014 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    I second that. This is really news?

    February 10, 2014 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  18. WCSallyAnn

    I am wondering why the GOP is so scared of Hilary. Yes she would gather a lot of women's votes, minorities also. Is it because they have no viable person to run. The way they are carrying on about Christie, it does make you wonder.

    February 10, 2014 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  19. Joey

    First of all, this article adds absolutely nothing of value. Hillary said her peace ages ago. Stop trying to dig for something that's not there.

    Second, the world was NOT captivated by this. YOU the media, journalists, and haters with an agenda were the ones captivated by it. Don't try to come off as someone believing you were doing a service. Clinton's affair should have been a personal matter with his wife and his family. That's it. It did not affect his ability to do his job.

    You guys are just grocery store tabloid trash. Do you not have anything "real" to report or is this nonsense has-been gossip the best you can do?

    February 10, 2014 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  20. Name

    When she found out she became physically violent and there was a domestic abuse scene against the president. Dick Morris mentioned this and so did a former USSS agent.

    February 10, 2014 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  21. NA NA

    yeah . . . right . . . that's what she called her.

    February 10, 2014 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  22. bodhi

    Who cares....! Aren't there more important things going on that are more relevant news?

    February 10, 2014 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  23. Josh

    This is front page news on CNN.com? You've got to be kidding me. OK CNN, I'm out.

    February 10, 2014 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  24. Josh

    I don't like Hillary - at all - but...who cares? She could have called the harlet that was blowing her husband much worse.

    February 10, 2014 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  25. Brian from DC

    The Right will trumpet any silly story about Hillary at this point, but all they do is emphasize that they have absolutely, positively no one to run against her in 2016.

    February 10, 2014 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
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