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. Yakobi

    "speculation is heating up that Hillary Clinton is eyeing a second run for the White House"

    Hillary has been running for the White House for 40 years.

    February 10, 2014 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  2. HeyHey

    It's relevant because of the war on women charge democrats made.

    February 10, 2014 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  3. janer52

    is anyone surprised that she may have said a less-than-complimentary description of her? whatever. it's ancient history.

    February 10, 2014 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Rudy NYC!!
    but sometimes you cannot control the actions of others no matter what you do.
    You old devil you!

    February 10, 2014 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  5. Yakobi

    "Hillary Clinton was a supporter of making the Blair records public"

    Because when Hillary ISN'T a supporter of making close friends' records public, bad things happen. Right, Vince Foster?

    February 10, 2014 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  6. Rachel

    Rand Paul is right. If democrats have this faux war on women going on then why aren't Bill Clinton's actions with Monica Lewinsky fair game? After all, Hilary knew all along what was going on and chose to do nothing about it which is pretty sad and creepy at the same time.

    February 10, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  7. Le Claw

    Uh oh...looks like the Washington Beacon just made Hillary's "list". It's also rather pathetic how the "other" woman gets blamed, not her husband.

    February 10, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  8. Joyce

    I still don't understand why and how Bill soared above and beyond his affair with Lewinsky. Calling her a narcissistic loony tune denies the fact that she was a 20 year old intern at the time, exploited by the most powerful man in America. Yep, she used poor judgement, but Bill was a married man, a man with power, and a man who could do whatever he damned well pleased. I don't understand how Hillary could blame Monica for her husband's behavior, and not blame her husband. My husband had an affair, and I kicked him out, with no blame to the other woman. After all, she had made no promises to me, like he had.

    Is this the way liberals think? Stick with your person, regardless of bad behavior, and blame it on someone else...and 'human frailty". Excusing "human frailty" has gotten us where we are today, as a Nation. Instead of rewarding and celebrating strength and commitment to values, there seems to be an overwhelming urge to support what appears, on the face, to be good intentions, despite actions that prove otherwise. Largely a liberal thing, and it's become all too popular because, after all, we're all human....and can't be expected to behave properly, consistent with good values....to 'walk the talk', because that's too difficult.

    Like Rome, we will fall, because collectively, we don't expect much out of anybody anymore.

    February 10, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  9. ThinkAgain - If you want Congress to actually do something FOR the American people, vote OUT the repub/tea bag majority

    Hillary obviously forgave Bill and they've moved on; personally, I think what he did was dumb and irresponsible. I also think that's their business.

    Rant is just trying to distract from is the fact that he is a fake, through and through, everything from his so-called
    "freedom-loving" ways (except religious freedom, a woman's right to choose and the right for all people regardless of race, physical ability and anything else he doesn't like to have free access to businesses) to his phony "board certification" as an ophthalmologist (he incorporated the "National Board of Ophthalmology," with his wife and a PO box in 1999 and that he heads, a group that American Board of Medical Specialties doesn't recognize and isn't approved by the American Medical Association).

    February 10, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  10. Dean

    How does America go from Obama who is not smart enough to run a corner Kool-aid stand back to Dr. Evil Hillary. America needs a break.

    February 10, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  11. dave

    Elections invariably get bogged down in this nonsensical stuff, it's such a waste, to spend all that time and money, only to devote it all to nothingness. People get to vote only every 4 years for President, and every 2 years for a member of Congress, less often for Senator. 40% don't bother to vote at all. It ususally ends up about 30% for 1 side, 30% for the other. It's seems such a shame that politicians and the media devote so much time to making sure voters waste their time and efforts by making sure elections are about nothing. The few voters that vote never get to consider the things that really effect them, like jobs, the economy, trade, supply side economics, debt, etc., the economy. The media may mention that it's the #1 issue, but that's about as far as it goes, just goes down to nothingness, a huge waste of time. I guess it's just the way things are, the level of understanding of economic matters is very limited for media and politician, but they do understand things about sex, everybody has one.

    February 10, 2014 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  12. paul reynolds

    Herman CAIN has countless Sexual Harassment Charges and Republicons LOVED HIM!!

    But Now Paul wants to discuss a Personal CONSENSUAL Affair that Hurt Nobody and Cost Nothing.!???

    February 10, 2014 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  13. Silence DoGood

    "Hillary Clinton was a supporter of making the Blair records public"

    Because when Hillary ISN'T a supporter of making close friends' records public, bad things happen. Right, Vince Foster?
    Oh no – here comes the loony train again. You are seriously resurrecting the conspiracy theory of the Clinton's killing Vince Foster. I think you might get more traction out of asking for Ms.Clinton's birth certificate. I suppose that is next. Or maybe something to do with Big Foot.....

    February 10, 2014 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  14. Thomas

    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."..

    Or maybe the toll of doing nothing when genocide was happening in Rwanda pushed him towards Lewinsky ?

    Don't make up excuses , Bill was thinking with his middle leg and acted out.

    What I would like to know is , are they still together as husband and wife , are they dating other people at this time .
    Or are they only together for propaganda and a photo opportunity ?

    February 10, 2014 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  15. 865155

    People are separate entities, I would hate to be judged and slandered by something another person, mate or friend did or said.. What happened to standing on your own merit ,,, The ML situation needs to stay in the box and never again brought to light, I am sure she is not pleased with the results it has had on her future, the mother should have been horse whipped to peddle her daughter for fame !! IT is o longer NEWS or Sensational, bad taste and unprofessional much like the Enquirer .

    February 10, 2014 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  16. paul reynolds

    CNN needs to STOP Obliging the PAUL Delusions!!!! WHY give his Nonsense Free Air time!???

    Why aren't you posting 10 Articles about how RepubliCons still Struggle with WATERGATE and BRIDGEGATE now!???

    February 10, 2014 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  17. American

    Ambassadorships for sale? Obama donors get cushy diplomatic gigs

    THE NUMBER OF political donors given plum diplomatic assignments has soared under President Obama, despite his pledges as a candidate to change Washington's ways — as questions are raised over their qualifications for the job.

    February 10, 2014 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  18. Back Out Now

    S, you have pretty much sank the Governor of New Jerseys White House dreams with non-ending non-stories. Now, you are digging Hillary's political grave? If she called Monica looney, she is far more generous than most wives who would have issued Monica a beat down and a few other choice words not befitting a Christian such as myself. 24 hour news cycles are a waste of air time.

    February 10, 2014 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  19. 865155

    Rand Paul, I hear there is an opening at the Enquirer !!! Seems to be the people's business you want to be a part of not politics..certainly not making the country better.

    February 10, 2014 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  20. Steven

    This entire story really is the republican party grasping at straws to stir the pot of controversy. Really, does anyone care about the sordid details of the Monica/Bill moment of 15 years ago? There really is nothing new to discover; we all heard, read and saw all we ever needed to and more. That affair was stupid is as stupid does, and bringing it up as any "proof" of HRC's qualifications to do anything political is just smoke and mirrors, and the republican party really does know that well. Yes, Bill is a slippery fellow; he has been largely forgiven for many/all of his stupid indescretions. Who really cares. There is a talent and giftedness about that family to endure, and that's why people like/love them, and that's why there political foes hate it so much. Of course it's obnoxious to lie about something, lie about lying about it, then come clean. However, it's about sex, and it really is just that. The guy blew a couple of nuts in her direction, and he was embarrassed about the entire world knowing, talking and speculating about it. Oh yeah, he never inhaled either – who cares. How many people would be honest about masterbation if asked under the scrutiny that this stupid scandal was all about. I think that our polititians can spend their time worrying about other more important things. We wasted enough time, energy and money (as well as my emotional and mental real estate) years ago. Let it go, move on, and talk about the things that actually matter. If people really think they can convince themselves that they really care about that stupid blue dress or circumstances surrounding it, I have a couple of old sox from my preteens that I guess I should assure are destroyed. If there was a graveyard for those sox and akin, it would most certainly be quite full and adding-up by the second. So lets divert our attention to that. This is a big fat who the hell cares.

    February 10, 2014 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  21. dadit

    i take issue with ML referred as a "looney tune".as this clearly was meant to be an insult to ML, it instead has insulted the actual Looney Tunes.im talking BUGS,DAFFY,PORKY,ELMERTAS,WIL E. COYOTE,ROAD RUNNER,SPEEDY GONZALES & all the other LOONEY Tunes! how boring was this article?thank goodnes LTcartoons were on to tear my eyes away from BOREDOM!MLisn't LT, she's disgusting!who keeps a dress with stains + passes it around?looney, but not LT's.

    February 10, 2014 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  22. Dave C

    "CNN was unable to reach a university spokesman late Sunday evening to authenticate the content of the writings", ...but we will publish the "story" anyway. LOL!!! Great journalistic standards CNN!!!

    February 10, 2014 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  23. Jimmy nobody

    Forgiving your known skirt chasing husband and blaming the woman that he was caught with is the moral high ground? Sorry Hillary, you still don't have an accomplishment you can stand on.

    February 10, 2014 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  24. sonny chapman

    Now THIS is a Two fer One! Impeach Bill for a bj in the White House AND kill Hillary's Prez Bid. The Repubs. ought to send Monica roses.

    February 10, 2014 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Are we upset because of the dead-on accuracy of the statement?

    February 10, 2014 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
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