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. jon wilson

    Who cares that was years ago? Can we fast forward to 2014 please?

    February 10, 2014 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Why is this a story now when it happened 20 years ago? Of course she's going to say bad things about the woman that slept with her husband. It must be a slow news day. I am so tired of the news in this country; it's pathetic most of the time. Where are the intelligent news people anymore? Now it seems you just have to look good on tv and be able to read a prompter, instead of doing actual reporting and being intelligent about the work. It's all about ratings instead of the truth, no matter what party that particular station is affiliated with or not. 24 hour network news is a joke most of the time.

    February 10, 2014 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  3. MotoJB

    Seriously? Why is this on the front page of CNN? Pathetic. Also, who gives a darn!

    February 10, 2014 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  4. Amy

    Mr. Paul, you are not exempt from scrutiny. How do we know that you haven't done anything similar?

    February 10, 2014 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  5. berniecat@outlook.com

    she can call her anything she wants too ! the was the wife of a cheating husband , so what its very old news just more Koch sucker stirring the kettle ,, so what did newts wife say about the others women or what did tiller wife say , or even beohner etc. they where all having affairs and that's ok because they are neocon fascist ! bs to the whole republican party of shame

    February 10, 2014 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  6. MotoJB

    More quality news reporting/priority from CNN.

    February 10, 2014 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  7. hencheryjohn

    This explains Monica...What about all the others?

    February 10, 2014 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  8. southerngent

    Silence DoGood

    Didn't have the nerve to answer the questions! Just what I thought! Either answer each question or stop posting your nonsense!

    February 10, 2014 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  9. Me

    Look at all the angry liberals below.....so funny...

    February 10, 2014 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  10. Dylan

    May I ask, in a world of unrest and toppling regimes...in a world of famine and famously rich...in a world of engineering achievements and diseases cured, why are you wasting time reporting sensational information to obfuscate the real issues that mold the future of our country and others? As a major media company that reports international and national stories and reports I question why you fail to be investigative and instead act poorly in choice by playing the copy and paste culture of social media. I'm sure there is content you are attempting to avert our attention from and that those who are your handlers are telling you to shove fluff down our throats...I'm choking, gagging really on this...it's unpalatable and a shameful mark on real journalism. Grow up, move past the gossip of the past and help us to redefine the future of our public perception and reinstate the integrity of investigative reporting. Bust open the secrets that will bring truth to the table so we can sort through all the B.S. that plagues our media paths. Please and Thank You.

    Sincerely,
    Dylan

    February 10, 2014 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  11. idb

    What difference does it make at this time? This person is utterly unfit for any public office and should certainly not be appointed to one.

    February 10, 2014 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  12. RettasVegas

    WHO CARES WHY...?

    This has NOTHING to do with politics, PERIOD!

    If the press had this story on JFK (and they could have) it would have made NO DIFFERENCE in politics of the day, why is the GOP so desperate to create news that is DEAD news, unless they have NOTHING to discredit her for BUT gossip?

    Independent voter – fed up with the EXTREME's of the GOP!

    February 10, 2014 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  13. Herry

    I guess hillary's botox side-effects are acting up again.

    February 10, 2014 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  14. critical thinking

    I hope this story doesn't "Lewinsky" her chances of running.

    February 10, 2014 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  15. Fish

    The White House is first a residence, second an office while Bill was certainly at fault Hilary had a right to believe another woman would not enter her home and service her husband any lady would naturally expect that amount of privacy, respect and decorum the Lewinsky girl violated most of all another lady's home which any lady would naturally have an unkind word but Looney toon is more an observation of the mistakes of youth than a condemnation from a wife scorned!!!

    February 10, 2014 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  16. mo2

    .. so Hilary Clinton's husband cheated on her decades ago... so what... how is that a reflection on Hilary Clinton's role in the actual political arena???.. This is so chauvinistic and offensive... I cannot believe CNN has stooped this low...

    February 10, 2014 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  17. hencheryjohn

    Why are ALL comments "Awaiting Moderation"?... Are only "APPROVED" comments allowed....Would this fit the Definition of "Censorship"?

    February 10, 2014 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  18. Jim Angone

    What difference does it make to Hillarys run for President that she called Monica Lewinski a Narcistic Looney Tune?
    Is this the best the Republicans have on Hillary? If so it underscores her great level of achievement in public service as a Senator and as Secretary of State

    February 10, 2014 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  19. NA NA

    French press is reporting that Obama had an affaire with Beyonce.

    February 10, 2014 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  20. Joe Sarsguzy

    After a terrible disaster of Clinton's buddies-Obama&Biden,not mentioning Slick Willie,a dangerous liar&deceiver,adulterer,
    dope-sucker and warmonger,lets pray to Almighty God that we will never even hear of any Clintons or Bushies,
    let alone having one more of the human-mind perverts for president.

    February 10, 2014 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  21. j thomas

    hillary drove more women to bill as dhe drew as much pleasure out of it as he did. its ugly.

    February 10, 2014 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  22. life5678

    That's like the kettle calling the pot black.

    February 10, 2014 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  23. Mark

    As if Hillary has any room to talk.....Narcissistic, check.........Looney toon, check.....guess it takes one to know one. All I know is there is no way in HELL that that B***H is remotely qualified to occupy the Oval Office........That is a position that requires integrity....which leaves most of Congress out....Not to mention the farce currently calling itself the Obama Administration.....The only thing they know how to do is administer disaster and vacations!

    February 10, 2014 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  24. I AM

    That's like the kettle calling the pot black

    February 10, 2014 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  25. happynurse

    it seems from the comments here that this will be a non-issue during the eelctions

    February 10, 2014 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
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