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. jerrylax

    I guess it was ok for bill to prey on a young intern, but I'll bet no one touched their daughter! As usual with the clintons it's all about spin and POWER.

    February 10, 2014 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  2. No More White Male Presidents

    Hillary is the epitome of "cool under pressure." No one out there can accuse her of allowing her emotions to overcome reason. If Bill were MY husband, I would have called Monica much worse, and Bill's clothes would have been thrown out on the White House lawn.

    A lot of people – men and women – can identify with her pain and humiliation and this certainly won't hurt her in the least. In fact, she might get a few sympathy votes that she might not have otherwise gotten.

    February 10, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Rudy NYC
    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
    Ah my friend, what some wouldn't do to have those types of "woes"!
    Gotta play the cards you're dealt to the best of your abilities I guess.
    Don't hate the player...hate the game!
    Go get 'em Rudy!!!

    February 10, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  4. bobo

    Funny how the papers show Hillary wanted Single Payer, but in 2008 Hillary said she didn't want it...... more lies!

    February 10, 2014 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  5. Wiley Coyote

    God what tripe.

    Okay Hillary, tell us how you felt about the OTHER 6 or 7 affairs when all those same people were still alive you blame for the cigar diddling affair?

    February 10, 2014 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  6. Torgy

    What a horrible situation for the Democrats in 16...this is the best you have? A person with no regard to her self respect (not getting rid of Bill) and has no apathy for dead Americans on here watch to protect illegal arms sales in Libya. This is the person to follow Obama who even surpassed Bush as the worst sitting president in the history of the US.

    February 10, 2014 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  7. clarence leblanc

    Imagine what most women say about the other woman. That was pretty classy. The GOP think they have something over on her with the Monica thing. Doesn't that book they keep referring to mention your suppose to stick with your mariage? Benghazi and Monica will play in her favour…not play agaisnt her in the least.

    February 10, 2014 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  8. Jorge

    What a narcissistic couple

    February 10, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  9. dzerres

    Even if I didn't support HRC I would vote for her just to watch the right wing's heads explode.

    February 10, 2014 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  10. Hillary Rodham

    I forgave Bill because I was the motherloving First Lady of te United States and wanted to be a Senator New York, possibly even President of the United States. If I ever got to be POTUS, I'd make sure to deport Monica out of the country.

    February 10, 2014 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  11. BrendaMor

    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. Why are Republicans getting blamed for this? Bill made Hillary a nothing. She shows women all over the US that a man's ego and libido are worth more than her.

    February 10, 2014 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  12. J-Man

    Does this article really need to be written? She forgave him because she is power hungry. It is really that simple. Without Bill she was nobody. She is also, probably a lesbian and this gives her some hetero chops.

    February 10, 2014 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  13. mystery woman

    On Hillary Clinton calling Monica Lewinsky "... loony toon" – what difference does it make.

    February 10, 2014 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  14. Kenman

    I see the liberals are well represented here today, and that they don't give a whit about a nominee's character! Typical dismissals like "old news" didn't seem to apply when they went back into Romney's childhood to try to diminish him for a childhood scuffle!

    Liberals apparently understand that their "progressive" ideologues are going to have some skeletons in their closets, leave bodies in their wake, feign everything that appears normal about them and their relationships, lie under oath when a woman's rights are on the line, say things like "At this point, what difference does it make?" about deaths of one of our ambassadors under her charge and several heroic military men that were left to die in a noble effort!

    These are the kinds of things that are just going to happen to anyone "progressive" enough to fulfil the goals of the radical liberals and their activist, it seems! And THAT says alot about the character of Hillary's supporters!

    February 10, 2014 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  15. blakenaustin

    I am not a HIllary fan. She is completely unqualified to run for president. Compulsive liar. No moral compass. Fiscally irresponsible. No meaningful accomplishments, multiple scandals. But this is not news. Any woman would have far worse things to say about a woman caught having a affair with her husband.

    February 10, 2014 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  16. More bad news..

    Let's go back and review Hillary's past record:

    Lied and was FIRED from the Nixon Watergate investigation for lying to her Democratic boss, her boss later said she should have been dis-barred. (CNN reported this as well, search here)
    Whitewater banking fraud and real estate swindle – her name is all over that
    Rose Law Firm
    White House travel staff firings
    Clinton Foundation scandal
    And in 2008 Barack Obama ran against her and the Clinton culture of corruption and cronyism – his own words

    Would she make a good President? Nope!

    February 10, 2014 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  17. DaveinIL

    Hillary forgave him her public humiliation so who's the real ""narcissistic loony toon" here?

    February 10, 2014 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    A lot of people – men and women – can identify with her pain and humiliation and this certainly won't hurt her in the least. In fact, she might get a few sympathy votes that she might not have otherwise gotten
    Let me co-sign that...

    February 10, 2014 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  19. Abbey

    Who cares? TMZ and the other low life outlets. Face it, they need viewers much like the Democrat party needs more young women in their ranks. You know to keep Bill and the rest of them happy.

    February 10, 2014 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  20. sly

    Hillary's husband was one of the most successful Presidents ever, and retains among the highest approval rating ever. That's what happens when America thrives under a Clinton.

    Good times America – we've crawled out of the mud puddle that was Bush.

    President Obama and President's Clinton are intelligent and progressive leaders – presiding over what is one of the most successful periods in American history.

    February 10, 2014 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  21. sanity

    Gee. Just a couple of years ago liberals were all in a lather about something Mitt Romney may have done in high school; now they're claim some that happened when Hillary was an adult does not matter now, like Benghazi.

    February 10, 2014 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  22. Tom from Canonsburg

    There are several problems to all of this. First, I don't condone what Bill did. But I do have issue with Rand Paul bringing this up as if Bill went after Monica. Seems to me that it came out during the trial that Monica offered herself to Bill on numerous occasions. I'm also pretty sure that it came out during that time period that there were only 2 Presidents that there was no evidence of them having affairs, they were Truman & Carter. There will always be that small segment of women that throw themselves at men will power. It has been happening since the beginning of time. To be fair, there is the same amount of men that do this same thing.

    February 10, 2014 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  23. Independent_Joe

    Rand Paul is an amateur. He raised an issue years too early in an attempt to play to those peeling away from Christie. Intelligent Republicans (there are some) know that they need Hispanics and the center right to win. Christie is their only shot. Rand is about as smart as his dad and will get similar results.

    February 10, 2014 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  24. cuisinemanager

    After reading this story it make one feel very sad for the Clinton's. It actually tries to paint both Clinton's as victims of a 19 year old. It is sad, morally objectionable and just wrong. If this is the best America has to offer in 2016 we are in a lot of trouble.

    February 10, 2014 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  25. Kristi Wallace

    He "lapsed"? Oh BooHoo. So does this mean, she is finally admitting that there were others before ML? I don't have very much respect for a woman who continues to allow her husband the leeway to have affairs, then blames the other woman. I don't get why Hillary is the Democratic Party's best candidate, is it just because she is a woman? What has she done? She was a Senator for a couple years, she was Sec. of State for a couple of years. What did she accomplish? She hasn't run a company, she hasn't run a state. Do we elect people that have no experience just because the Dems owe her something? Come on DNC-you can do better than this!

    February 10, 2014 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
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