February 10th, 2014
05:26 AM ET
6 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. GR Downtown

    I thought CNN was a NEWS organization not a re-teller of ancient history. Why don't you cover something important like the delay of the healthcare mandate or the latest untruth from the NJ governor's office.

    February 10, 2014 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  2. Jon

    This wasn't even news when he was still in office.....and who cares about this, even if she IS running in 2016. Get a damn hobby, CNN......and make it GOOD JOURNALISM for a damn change.

    February 10, 2014 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  3. j007bond

    You know, when Nixon realized he brought dishonor to the presidency, he had the courage to resign. Too bad cowardly Billy Boy didn't do the same after turning the White House into his own private brothel.

    February 10, 2014 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  4. Nunya

    "Seriouly?! You want to compare this with wage fairness and other woman's issues? The GOP will lose that battle."

    Excusing the perpetrator in the power position (deaths of mother & father, unfair attacks, a lot of pressure, consensual) while blaming the victim (narcissistic looney tune). Seems like a pattern with Hillary. Go back and read the attacks she made regarding Bill's other accusers when Bill was running for President. She is definitely the champion of women's rights.

    February 10, 2014 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  5. Jesse

    Well I she was not just upset. She was violent after finding out. Domestic abuse against Bill and all. At least according to Dick Morris and A former USSS agent.

    Even with all of that mess she also suffered a stroke during the benghazi inquiry even if minor her health is just not there to run.

    February 10, 2014 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  6. visitor

    southerngent – You shut up, period. I'll up you one. Get lost, and shut up. Period. Don't forget Period.

    February 10, 2014 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  7. visitor

    Well j007, I'll take brothel boy over Halliburtan"s murdering Ho any time.

    February 10, 2014 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  8. so much for honesty

    If this is the best the GOP can do against Hillary they are indeed in big trouble in 2016.

    February 10, 2014 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  9. Rosa

    Seriously, is this all they got? Only the hard core Hillary haters are going to care about something her husband did over 20 years ago.

    February 10, 2014 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  10. Namejohn nenninger

    CNN doing a good job covering for Hillary makes her look good

    February 10, 2014 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  11. Maria Serra

    Hillary Clinton is her own person and she should be judged by her merits, actions and what she would bring to the presidency, which I think is a lot more that Mr Paul would bring to the presidency. In her personal life, it is her prerogative whether to forgive her husband or not, because regardless of him being the president, at the end of the day, it was a personal matter between a man and a woman who were into a marriage relationship. Who are we to judge how they handled their trouble marriage. And anyway, isn't marriage supposed to be for life, for better or for worse? Or is it that those rules don't apply to the Clintons?

    February 10, 2014 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  12. OTGrinder

    Another sad day to be a Republican. Wish we could find a candidate that talks about relevant things instead of just mudslinging. Ancient history, You was my hope to follow your father and break from this 2 party fiasco we call US politics! You do know the rest of the world just laughs at us when you guys do this don't you?

    February 10, 2014 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  13. alan smithee

    ". . . . the mistake with Lewinsky . . ."; well, adding 2 + 2 and getting 3 is a mistake, but not this.

    February 10, 2014 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  14. hotstuffpdx

    Understand I would love to have Hillary Clinton as President but know that this release was timed now to get it out of the way. Rand wants to talk about it now that is just fine.

    February 10, 2014 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  15. dbratt

    Who says CNN doesn't' cover the important news stories? Yawn.....

    February 10, 2014 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  16. countingdown

    Maria Serra
    Hillary Clinton is her own person and she should be judged by her merits, actions and what she would bring to the presidency, which I think is a lot more that Mr Paul would bring to the presidency. In her personal life, it is her prerogative whether to forgive her husband or not, because regardless of him being the president, at the end of the day, it was a personal matter between a man and a woman who were into a marriage relationship. Who are we to judge how they handled their trouble marriage. And anyway, isn't marriage supposed to be for life, for better or for worse? Or is it that those rules don't apply to the Clintons?

    February 10, 2014 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm

    Come on now!
    She was the FIRST LADY, anyone with a brain except a liberal understands why she stood by him. Think what her life would have been like if she had turned her back on him. He almost certainly who have lost the presidency and her political aspirations would have gone down the drain!

    February 10, 2014 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  17. Pinecone

    There is not a person on the planet who could stand up to this kind of scrutiny. We'd all be caught saying less-than-transcendent things about each other. That this is even an article is on par with the state of affairs in the world. We deserve an asteroid hit!

    February 10, 2014 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  18. J Robinson

    "...but it does mean something she forgave him and decided to stick it out with Bill." All it means is that she doesn't care what he does and knows she would amount to nothing without him.

    February 10, 2014 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  19. seanice Matovu

    Being a president doesn't take away the nature in you.Many of us know the real us in the dark.Let's not cover up.We have all sinned and fallen short of the Lord's glory.Yes, I would trust Bill with my country, but may be not with my daughter.And to me, that's ok! More so if Bill screwed, what's that got to do with Hillary?
    She is out to do her think and reveal to America how far she can take it.Go girl, right behind you:-)

    February 10, 2014 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  20. Common Sense

    please all you libs out there, please tell me why Hillary is qualified to be president........please........

    February 10, 2014 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  21. Tom Puckett

    I refuse to read this article. It's quite frankly none of my business why she forgave him.

    February 10, 2014 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  22. gahh

    Hillary lost my respect by staying with this slimy disease filled, low life rat!

    February 10, 2014 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  23. John

    So Hillary really favored single-payer at some point? Maybe she's worth voting for after all.

    February 10, 2014 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  24. Danlien

    Who......cares....

    February 10, 2014 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  25. no-flea-party

    While most demorats wives give medals to the other woman for getting the sicko out of their lives, she wanted to stay the President since Bill was a puppet. It isn't this that will look bad if she runs, its Benghazi, Whitewater and the 2 year missing billing records, Pellicano and Alexander Proctor

    February 10, 2014 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
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