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. Mark

    It takes savvy to recognize that the way the GOP will retake the White House isn't with immigration reform but microwaved Clinton rumors.

    February 10, 2014 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  2. Tony

    I fail to make the connect between all of this and Hilary's ability to serve as president. I we were talking about Bill or Lewinsky I would get it; but what wrong has Hilary done? She called the women her family had an affair with a "narcissistic looney tune"? I think most people would have stronger words for the person their spouse cheated on them with. If the criticizism is that she tolerated it; quite simply put this is a her personal life. It has nothing to do with her ability to serve and if anything, for me, it shows that she is capable of not allowing personal matters taint her professionalism. Mr. Paul will certainly fail with this strategy... I suspect more female voters will come to see her as a victim and survivor to identify with.

    February 10, 2014 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  3. paul reynolds

    Does RAND get his Delusional Hallucintion Pills directly from their Arrested Drug Addict messiah "Rush" too..!??

    What color is the Sky in their Universe?

    February 10, 2014 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  4. TSB8C

    Hillary had to "forgive" Bill because divorcing him would have severed the coat tails she has been riding ever since Arkansas. She is nothing without that last name and has accomplished nothing in her life on her own. She was a failure of a first lady (Travelgate, Hillarycare), a failure as a Senator (voted to support war in Iraq then decried it), failure as Sec of State (Benghazi). What a wasted she is.

    February 10, 2014 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  5. Lynda/Minnesota

    Dominican mama
    How's the weather in Minnesota babe?

    Cold. ( -8 ) I'm going to host a "burn your fleece" party come spring ... or the first day above 32 degrees. Whichever comes first.

    February 10, 2014 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  6. Jme

    I am looking forward to watching the Clinton freak show again.

    February 10, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  7. paul reynolds

    CNN fell for the Bait again – trying to over Prove you are NOT "Liberal Media" by posting "News" from 1994
    – over 20 years ago..!???

    Seriously – 10 articles about Rand's fantasies while NOTHING about WATERGATE, BRIDGEGATE and the 2000's CULTURE of Corruption that sent Abrahmoff, Libby and others to PRISION while Bush still has an outstanding International Arrest Warrant!!!

    Yet – You defer to make "News" about a private, CONSENSUAL Affair that Hurt NOBODY 20 years ago!!

    February 10, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "Documents reveal Hillary Clinton’s private reaction to her husband's cheating scandal with Monica Lewinsky"

    CNN reporting on this reveals a truly pathetic level of journalistic integrity and a willingness to wax s-xist if it will turn profit.


    The entire discussion is an attempt to stigmatize HRC with the sins of her husband. Even a willingness to entertain the discussion is borderline sexist...the willingness to help broadcast and perpetuate it is truly disgusting.

    February 10, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  9. peick

    In response to the headline, I have to question whether part of forgiving Bill was to preserve her own political prospects. She moved to New York and then, surprise, became a senator from there. A divorce would cut her standing in the public opinion so that she might not be able to pursue a presidential bid.

    February 10, 2014 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  10. chris

    Leave to CNN to print a pro-Hillary article, trying to justify why Hillary isn't such a bad role model for women.

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

    This was said in a private communication and is quite mild compared to what might have been said. Case closed.

    February 10, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  12. 32334

    It doesn't surprise me that CNN is giving so much publicity to Rand Paul and the remarks that he is making about something that has happened many years ago. CNN is struggling like a lost child seeking attention from the public for viewers and will broadcast anything they think will attract them to their network.

    February 10, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  13. Ron

    To me, Clinton is a non issue and should not be in the news.

    February 10, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  14. Pam from Iowa

    Unless it was a three-some with Rand Paul in the middle, he needs to keep his mouth shut on something that IS NONE OF HIS BUSINESS!!!!
    This guy has no scruples or morals! My how low he stoops!

    February 10, 2014 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  15. Yooper57

    Clinton/Clinton 2016!!!!!!!!!!

    February 10, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  16. Sarah

    She stuck by her husband at the worst of times. It's what has been known as the true meaning for "women" in marriage. She supports him.

    February 10, 2014 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  17. paul reynolds

    CNN – Stop falling for the Bait , you will NEVER lure RepubliCon'd viewers away from FAKES News
    No matter How many countless fake "News" stories from 20 years ago and RED Meat you toss into the Pit.

    Now you please Nobody and will probably continue to plummet in Ratings by forcing Readers to One extreme or the Other!

    February 10, 2014 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  18. sikologik

    Paul Reynolds:

    "Herman CAIN has countless Sexual Harassment Charges and Republicons LOVED HIM!!"
    Herman Cain's candidacy- and his political career- disappeared like a f@rt in the wind pretty much the moment his sordid sexual history came out. The difference between RepubliCONS and DIMocrats in this case is that upon learning of Cain's transgressions, repubs abandoned him whereas we've all known about Clinton's transgressions for 20 years (more if we care to look- countless accusations by countless women of outright SEXUAL ASSAULT against Bill Clinton are well documented going back to his days at Oxford in the late 60's), yet Dems continue to cling to him with reeking desperation.

    February 10, 2014 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  19. Silence DoGood

    @Pam from Iowa
    Unless it was a three-some with Rand Paul in the middle, he needs to keep his mouth shut on something that IS NONE OF HIS BUSINESS!!!!
    This guy has no scruples or morals! My how low he stoops!
    Good call. In the absence of actual factual philosophical criticism, dredging up old sexist conspiracy theories with a false moral indignation is about all they have now. Paul is like a poor quality fail video.

    February 10, 2014 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  20. sly

    Hillary Clinton is the most powerful woman in the world today, likely in history. She was one of the most respected Secretary of States in American history.

    These are great times for America, much thanks to President Obama. The progressive ideals that President Obama and future President Clinton have championed have restored credibility to an America left broke and in tatters by the previous administration of bumbling oil barons.

    Good times Americans. Enjoy our record stock market, our freedom from foreign terrorist attacks on our soil, the plummiting jobless rate, the lowest federal deficit percent in 50 years.

    Thank you Mr. President!

    February 10, 2014 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  21. Maria Delaluz

    That's right.....that's the way of the Democrat women. Be ever so forgiving of their husbands' sexual escapades.
    Uh huh....the party for women.....stay with your cheating husbands.

    February 10, 2014 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  22. CC333

    Unfortunately Hillary is the Looney-Tune, making excuses for Bill's behavior. Women who make continual excuses for their husbands are actually more damaged then their husbands. Hillary if she runs for office, must understand that type of Looney-Tune denial is a very poor example for the women in this country and across the world. It should not be admired.

    February 10, 2014 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  23. cbp

    Obviously the Clinton

    Obviously the Clinton's knew about the papers that Mr. Blair donated in his wife's memory. I am sure that Hillary Clinton wanted to believe her husband and may have made these statements. Why does rand Paul believe that he needs to talk about these papers. Did he send people to the Library to read everything about Hillary. If he has to go this route to be nominated I have to think of what he would do should be actually be the nominee. Need we remind him that many of his statements will come bak to haunt him. He has raised eyebrows more than once.

    February 10, 2014 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  24. bob_in_ny

    I think this SHOULD be relevant. If Hillary Clinton is elected President, Bill will be trotted out around with her at every national and international event. Do we want a lothario as our international representative as First Husband? What will be the Secret Service advance team's job in his protection, security or safe S3X? It is a disgrace that she downplay this as a transgression with a loony toon narcissist, rather than a President who abused the trust of his office to engage in extramarital sex with his intern from a position of power. The fact that she dismisses it as not even really sex in any form, reveals the extent of the spin we will see from Hillary's proposed campaign. When you drop your pants and have G3N1T4L contact with someone, it isn't called 0ral Fun, it is called 0ral S3x, for a reason. Has the leopard changed his spots? Think again. His lies were an impeachable offense then, she stood by and condoned that, while she sits with the Democratic party line of Women's rights and disgraces her gender with her criticism of the woman wearing Bill's indiscretion.

    February 10, 2014 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  25. jeremy

    I was in FL at Old Town years back. There was a car there and on its bumper read "At least when Clinton lied, no one died." That really was a good bumper sticker. It tells the truth! Hey GOP, you guys killed over 4,000 men and women in wars. Maybe more over the years. So I really don't think this is a big deal at all. Lewinsky was annoying. Simple! You guys are so desperate you'll try to dig up ANYTHING!

    February 10, 2014 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
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