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.

[twitter-follow screen_name='politicalticker'] [twitter-follow screen_name='danmericacnn']

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. Disgusted

    This is not news, it is attempt to discredit Hillary, in the event she should decide to run. It happened approx. 20 years ago now, and the papers were donated in 2005, so why are they making like this is news?

    February 10, 2014 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  2. IhaveID

    Really? What is this, high school again. psssttt.... did you hear what Hillary said about Monica hehehe

    February 10, 2014 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  3. Hillary :-(

    What a nauseating "couple"....

    February 10, 2014 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  4. Heather

    Ya well – Monica might have been a narcissistic loony toon – but Bill Clinton was a grown up who didn't need to upzip his fly. I'd be more impressed if Hillary kept quiet rather than try to put some stupid spin on why her husband is a hound dog. Pretty pathetic.

    February 10, 2014 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  5. Cheick Sissoko

    Interesting to see this resurfacing as we hear rumors about an affair between President Obama and Beyonce!

    February 10, 2014 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  6. Ann C

    Rand Paul...this only helps to unite women with Hillary. If this is what you have to discredit Hillary Clinton you are in trouble. Again GOP/Tea Party versus women. You never learn will you.

    February 10, 2014 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  7. Jim in PA

    So as long as we are jumping into the Way Back Machine, should we start discussing how the Reagan Administration sold missiles to Iran? Or perhaps we should keep things a tad more current and relevant?

    February 10, 2014 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  8. Jeanneboo

    If she didn't, she should have.

    February 10, 2014 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  9. Thomas

    so what if she did?

    February 10, 2014 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  10. paul reynolds

    Siko – Herman Cain was also FORCING himself on Females due to his Position.
    AGAIN, for the Millionth Time, Monica was WILLING and WANTING the CONSENSUAL Private Affair that HURT nobody and Cost NOTHING but Republicons SHUT DOWN the U.S. Government for a YEAR to "Investigate the SECURITY Risk".!????
    – Done!

    February 10, 2014 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  11. JJ

    If you can’t say anything good about someone, you must be talking about Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton will never be President. She is one of the most hated and despised women in the country. Her hate factor is one rung below that of Nancy Pelosi. She is incompetent, has blood on her hands from the Benghazi murders of four Americans, committed perjury during the Benghazi hearings, as SOS fostered the expansion of Al Qaeda in Egypt, Libya and No. Africa and supported Morsi, the deposed head and terrorist of Egypt. She is still married to scumbag and sleazeball Bill Clinton who was guilty of adultery, perjury, impeachment and disbarment. If she is so popular, she would have won the Democratic nomination in 2008 against Obama.

    February 10, 2014 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  12. Shirley

    This world has gone to hell because there are so many self-centered, hateful," I'm better than you are" people in it. They love nobody and they forgive nobody. I've learned in my 70 plus years that people that preach the holier than thou attitude are sinners just like everyone else. Repubs mouth off about it-Dems live it.

    February 10, 2014 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    Dominican mama 4 Obama wrote:

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

    You old devil you! Wink!
    Guilty. What do you want me to do? Most ladies have found me interesting to look at, and unfortunately for me, so do some men. I cannot begin to describe the problems that I've experienced out in public places.

    February 10, 2014 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  14. Ralph

    She knew before she married him that he would be unfaithful to her because he considers that kind of behavior as a perk for being a powerful politician. She was not angry about the affair but the fact that it cost them politically.

    She "forgave" him because she knows he has a tremendous power base of people who owe him favors and a huge pile of cash to spend on her ambitions. Her only regret is that his actions made her look weak.

    February 10, 2014 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  15. PaulyD

    nice attempt to discredit Hiilary vis-a-vis stuff that happened 20 years ago, AND which are completley unprovable.

    February 10, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  16. Ozone Park

    I think some of you are confused who keep saying it was nothing just an incident between a husband and wife. Actually he violated the articles under which he was granted security clearance as he was on conference calls with other leaders and discussing national security in her presence and while being "taken care of". This is why he was impeached because once he lied about the incident the violation of his oath was an easy win on impeachment articles. Hence the reason he was impeached. If it was a non issue he would not have been only the 2nd president ever impeached.

    February 10, 2014 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    What does this have to do with HC run for presidency:
    1. shows poor judgment on her part–the slob had affairs prior to Lewinski, what was the excuse in those cases.
    2. her ability to rationalize what she wants to see: As president, she will have to make decisions that are sound for he country and not allow her ego to stand in the way
    3. I don't want Bill Clinton in the White House again

    February 10, 2014 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  18. crashdummy38crashdummy38

    Takes one to know one I have heard. Hillary has a very foul mouth off the camera. Can put any sailor to shame very fast..
    She is not one to be trusted !!!

    February 10, 2014 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  19. PHinMiami

    Looking at Monica's 40 years, her 'affair' wi Bill Clinton was the only affair she's managed.

    February 10, 2014 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  20. kiskak

    Good luck trying to use that as a slam. After all, Hillary wasn't the one who had the affair.

    February 10, 2014 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  21. Fiona

    Hillary calling someone else a narcissist! That is too funny.

    Why on earth would this Blair write notes on every conversation with her "friend and confidante? I can't stand people who think they are so important that they document their own lives. And she was apparently no friend.

    February 10, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  22. J Russ

    timmy.......you are right, it matter little what Mr Clinton did with an 18 year old intern. It matters greatly that he was not honest enough to admit the truth.

    February 10, 2014 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  23. fgwuibi

    this all goes to the desperation of the GOP knowing the WH will be theirs-maybe-sometime mid century 3000.

    February 10, 2014 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  24. sly

    President Clinton presided over the most successful period in American history. Huge economic growth. Huge stock market growth. One of the great American presidents.

    After a dismal lull, President Obama has also brought America freedom from foreign oil wars, safety from the foreign terrorist attacks that characterized the Republican administrations, and the lowest federal deficit percent in 50 years.

    These are good times for progressive Americans! And a future President Clinton will continue the progressive trend.

    Go get em' Hillary – the next President of the United States!

    February 10, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  25. Gary

    Political posturing. She's lining up her & Bill's background info, whether it's true or not, for the questions she no doubt will be asked when she runs for POTUS.

    February 10, 2014 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39