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

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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. Michael MN

    Remember Bob Livingston ? Speaker of the house at the end of the impeachment who said the President should resign because he didn't have the morals to be President – he resigned a few days later when it was found out he was having an afair with a lobbyist behid his wifes back – Hypocrit

    February 10, 2014 05:57 am at 5:57 am |
  2. Marie MD

    But, but, but, wait. This is what the KY ayn rand wants to bring up because nothing else has been found to be a scandal. You know, Benghazi, IRS.
    So unlike foley with his underage pages, Vitter and his diapers and women of the night, giving money to his mistress' parents to keep quiet, trolling for men in airport bathrooms. Don't have enough time to waste on repug scandals.

    February 10, 2014 06:09 am at 6:09 am |
  3. colorserenity

    I have to admire her altruistic outlook on the affair. She saw him as a human being first and her husband second. I find that very interesting.

    February 10, 2014 06:16 am at 6:16 am |
  4. flunar

    If that is the worst she had to say about ML, she's even more classy than I thought.

    February 10, 2014 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  5. Wake up People!

    I've always thought it was a set up orchestrated by Linda Tripp and Ken Starr. Who doesn't have their dress cleaned, with that type of stain on it. I've never felt President Clinton took advantage of her. She was ready, willing and able to get on her knees for the POTUS.

    February 10, 2014 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  6. somervillechangeling

    Quote: "The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website which posted its story late Sunday evening, said it based its reporting on the writings of Diane Blair, a now-deceased friend of the Clintons"

    I'm a progressive communitarian (morally conservative but economically progressive) and not too happy with the tea party or the libertine left, but one thing that has always bothered me about Bill and Hillary Clinton is that they have far to many "now deceased friends" than any couple I've known in real life or read about in the news.

    If it was a movie, perhaps it would be a horror movie about powerful political couple who made a pact with Satan. It could be a political thriller about an amoral couple seeking to be the next Kennedy clan, but as with the Kennedy's, there's just more death than is statistically likely.

    The tea party is Satan's trojan horse to deceive Christian America with the philosophies of Ayn Rand, but there is something just as odd going on with the left. I don't trust political dynasties. I don't trust people who's friends are all dead unless those people are repentant drug addicts who's friends died while sinners living a dangerous lifestyle.

    I don't trust either Clinton, or the Bushes for that matter. My advice to Elizabeth Warren or Ted Cruz and Rand Paul is to stay in the Senate for decades before you even think of running. Short term Senators and southern governors have made less than great Presidents. Stop being supporters of globalist business on the right and internationalist treaties on the left and use your influence and votes to rebuild America. Individuals are not taxed enough already if we are funding wars without paying for them as George Washington admonished.

    February 10, 2014 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  7. GeorgeBos95

    Bill Clinton was a long-term skirt-chaser ... Lewinsky wasn't an isolated incident ... and Bill was as much of a narcissistic loony tune as Lewinsky.

    Remarkable how Hillary could pretend it was due to the loss of family and friends.

    February 10, 2014 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  8. BO

    Lewinsky wasn't the first and wasn't the last.

    February 10, 2014 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  9. Stephen

    There are only two presidents that I have zero doubt about their extra-curricular activities. The first, of course, is George Washington. The stories of his love for his wife and his country are the stuff of legend. The second is Richard Nixon. Because ... why would anyone?

    That being said, who cares?

    February 10, 2014 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  10. joe

    Catfight!!!!!! My money is on monica!!!

    February 10, 2014 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
  11. William Carrell

    The looney toon is in the picture of this article. Monica is WAY better looking than this bag. I don't blame Bill and if ANYONE THINKS Monica is the only one, well the word looney (hillary dillary) comes to mind.

    February 10, 2014 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  12. db

    Monica is a proud, accomplished woman. She is not a "loony toon".

    February 10, 2014 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  13. John Patrick

    Who Cares? This is a pathetic attempt to create news.

    February 10, 2014 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  14. jzaks

    Making excuses for her husbands infidelity. Par for the course.

    February 10, 2014 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  15. ironmike

    Monica did more for Bill than Hillary ever will

    February 10, 2014 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  16. Gabbo

    Ms. Clinton is an evil, evil woman. She only cares about her own goals – the H with everyone elses.

    February 10, 2014 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  17. TheSadTruth

    The timing of this is suspect. HRC is obviously going to run in 2016, and here is an account of her during the Lewinsky scandal that paints her in the very best ways possible- not shrewish or bitter, supportive yet "above" the entire fiasco, and it was released through a CONSERVATIVE source. Clinton didn't even have to give this account as being her own, it comes from a deceased confidant.
    I have real problem buying this glowing and wonderfully timed portrayal of her.

    Well played Ms. Clinton.

    February 10, 2014 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  18. KrJ9

    Soooo boring I couldn't even finish the article.

    February 10, 2014 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  19. Gabbo

    It was Hillary's "war on women" all the time !!

    February 10, 2014 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  20. dave

    like we really need another crooked Clinton in the White House

    February 10, 2014 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  21. NameJoseph

    This creature hasn't a single accomplishment to her credit.
    And look at that photo - she takes herself for the Queen of England!

    February 10, 2014 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  22. Stuart

    Mirror, mirror on the wall...

    February 10, 2014 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  23. bluebyyou666

    and was not sex within any real meaning… of the term,” Blair wrote.
    Well, what exactly does this mean? I remember it rather well, I ignored the whole thing, it was laughable, just sex, adultery isn't any reason to get upset... Mrs. Clinton said it was a 'Family Matter'. That's exactly what she said and that was indeed the end of it. America does have it's sexual insecurities... but I wouldn't worry about a Presidents sex life, Kennedy had sex with zillions of women... that didn't matter why should this?

    February 10, 2014 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  24. jonathan p.

    hillary is one of the greatest women in recent history,she overcame to some degree the wrongdoing of her husband,and still pressed on to carve out a very impressive carrer,i know there is alot of hatred out there for her,but she's five stars in my opinion.

    February 10, 2014 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  25. liz

    A ' NEW REPORT!!!!!' on an eighteen year old story about a bj everyone needs to GET OVER IT !

    February 10, 2014 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
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